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Unique gold medal for Azerbaijan at Cadet European Cup Fuengirola
19 Feb 2017 19:35
Cadet judoka from Azerbaijan and the Netherlands shined this weekend at the European Open in Fuengirola. In total, medals went to 16 different nations, including Cyprus. The medal distribution speaks volumes to the quality of the diverse field of 21 countries represented in the southern Spanish city, which lies 30km from Malaga.
The first gold medal of the tournament went to Azerbaijan, which took three titles on Saturday, the first day of competition. Vusala Karimova won gold U40kg, where as, in the young men’s categories, U55kg and U60kg, Aykhan Tanriverdiyev and Vusal Ibrahimov captured the gold, respectively. On Sunday the Azeri added a fourth gold medal from heavyweight Mahammad Abdullayev. Though it may not seem a significant feat, Azerbaijan has never won a heavyweight title in a European youth event.
The Netherlands claimed three titles in Fuengirola. On Saturday, Daan Moes defeated Ido Rabin (ISR) in the final U50kg. Dutch fans were also treated to gold when Naomi van Krevel won her category U48kg. Success continued on Sunday when Kim Hooi conquered U70kg and her sister won bronze U57kg, making for a happy family. The Netherlands also boasted the largest bronze and 5th place finishing numbers: a testament to the depth of the Dutch cadets and a hopeful future.
Italy was also good for two gold medals, both in the men’s division. Luca Rubeca (U66kg) and Daniele Accogli (U81kg) took gold. Israel lost the U81kg final, but won the title U90kg, thanks to Serafim Kompaniez. Czech Republic’s Mikulas Mesko won the first gold for his country this year (in 2016 there was no gold medal at all); the last Czech to win was Tomas Binhak.
Among the young women, one gold medal went to host country Spain. The crowd cheered for Mireia Rodriguez in the U44kg category and the 80th gold medal at European Cups for Spain, with 40 of them achieved in Fuengirola. Fran Garrigos and Julia Figueroa were previous winners for Spain in this age group.
Israel acquired a second gold medal when Maya Goshen won her division U57kg. Annabelle Winzig (U63kg) was the only German champion. Last, but not least, Helena Vukovic showed her preparedness for the upcoming European Cup in her country, Croatia. The youngster from Samobor won the second gold medal this year.
Next week the Tour takes place in Antalya (TUR) and in two weeks time in Zagreb (CRO), the fourth event of 10 this season.
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Colin Robinson (USA)
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