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Jovana Pekovic shines for Montenegro at European Open Belgrade

24 Sep 2017 17:30 / judo news, results and photos

Jovana Pekovic was the youngest winner on Sunday at the European Open in Belgrade. The teen from Montenegro was the convincing winner in her category U70kg. It will be the perfect motivation to shine at the World Junior Championships in Zagreb in October and the European U23 Championships in Montenegro in November.

19-year old Jovana Pekovic was determined to take the gold in Belgrade. In the final against Swiss Alina Lengweiler she had wazari on the scoreboard in ten seconds. Pekovic, who won the European Cup in Sarajevo last April, is in good form and threw Langweiler for another wazari. Pekovic is the top talent for Montenegro, which has organized the European U23 Championships in November this year. 21-Year old Lengweiler has lost three finals of European Cups, but is also a talent for the future. Pekovic kept active and didn’t give Lengweiler any chance to snatch away the gold. The winner said: "Today was just perfect. Everything went well, the semi final against Bar Farin (ISR) was not so easy, but in the final things went smoothly. Not that Alina Lengweiler was bad, but it felt that I was good today.”

Pekovic is triple Balkan champion in the cadets category and captured a lot of silver in juniors and seniors. At only 19-years old, just a little more experience is needed and her aim is a European medal. But in the short term the World Championships in Zagreb is her first goal. “Of course juniors is my age so that is very important. This year’s European Championships in my own country is highly supported so I will do my best.”

The bronze went to Megan Fletcher of Ireland who’s on her way back from an injury. She bested Maya Thoyer (FRA) in her last battle taking almost 7 minutes, but she kept fit. Israelian Champion Bar Farin claimed the bronze after her victory over Clementine Louchez. In the third minute she won by by osaekomi.

The final U78kg delivered gold for Linda Politi of Italy. The 25-year old Italian won her first ever World Cup and World Cup medal ever. Against French Julie Pierret she decided the match by ippon via osaekomi after two minutes. It was also a first World Cup medal for Pierret. Politi was Italian champion in 2015 and got back this year with silver at the European Cup in Bratislava. She has won Italian Championships in each age category, but this gold medal was the biggest international title.

Bronze medals went to French athletes in two Francophone bronze finals. Vanessa Dureau (FRA) defeated Mina Coulombe of Canada. Stessie Bastareaud was the best in a French final against Christelle Garry.

The heavyweight title went to Tina Radic of Croatia, who won the round robin pool with Jovana Nikic (MNE) who won silver and Sarah Hawkes (GBR).

Read the story for the men at the European Open in Belgrade.

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Related Judo Photos

  • Jovana Pekovic (MNE) - European Open Belgrade (2017, SRB) - © Serbian Judo Federation
  • Jovana Pekovic (MNE), Alina Lengweiler (SUI) - European Open Belgrade (2017, SRB) - © Serbian Judo Federation
  • Jovana Pekovic (MNE) - European Open Belgrade (2017, SRB) - © Serbian Judo Federation

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