Host Spain couldn’t convince to take a gold medal in La Coruna at the European Cup for Juniors. In this stage the juniors of Russia, Germany and France are too strong. Those countries topped the medal table. With eight gold medals Russia clearly dominated in the North of Spain.
Not just the titles but also 23 medals in total is unmatched and the Russians are considered to be among the best in Europe and favourite for many European titles at the Junior Championships in September in Sofia.
Russia had won four gold medals and doubled the numbers on Sunday. It was German judoka Annabelle Winzig who opened the gold medals at the second day in La Coruna. In her category U63kg she defeated Italian champion Nadia Simeoli. Strong Italians in this category but Winzig won all her five matches. Germany won a second gold medal when Christina Faber defeated Portuguese starlet Patricia Sampaio in the final U78kg. The Germans are traditionally strong in the categories U63kg, U70 and U78kg.
Junior World Ranking leader Madina Taimazova bested Dana Tibilova, also from Russia in the final U70kg. Marketa Paulusova of Czech Republic is in a great form. In La Coruna she won another gold medal +78kg. Her third victory in the European Cup, only Lukas Krpalek won more European Cups as a junior for his country.
Russia won six of its eight gold medals in the men’s division. Dmitri Kharitonov was the first title winner U81kg. Against the strong Italian Kenny Komi Bedel he prevailed and took gold among the 27 men. He also won the European Cup in Coimbra. Lazar Cupic delivered his country Montenegro one of the highlights of the year, but probably more to come. Cupic won the category U90kg. He is the fourth judoka for his country ever to win a Junior European Cup (Milic, Bubanja, Jovana Pekovic). Cupic bested Andrea Fusco (ITA) in the final.
Denis Bakanov of Russia took gold U100kg against Alexandre Teodosio. The third Russia-Italy confrontation was the final +100kg between David Babayan vs Lorenzo Agro Sylvain. Again Russia won the battle making it four silver medals this weekend for Italy. Gabriele Greco won gold on Saturday to compensate a bit.
Halfway the European circuit the juniors can look forward to one of the strongest events in Leibnitz in two weeks time.