The European Cup in Malaga was a sort of comeback event for many judoka. We saw a few familiar faces in the circuit who haven’t been active for many reasons. Especially om Sunday we saw the comeback of Matteo Marconcini (ITA), Anne-Katrin Lisewski (GER) and Brigita Ljuba aka Brigita Matic who gave birth to a baby.
Victor Busch of Sweden won the European Cup in Malaga, this year he was also victorious at the European Cup in Belgrade. In the final U81kg Busch bested Matteo Marconcini, the runner up of the 2017 World Championships who came back at this European Cup. 18-year old Eniel Caroly (FRA) took bronze as well as Aku Laakkonen of Finland.
Mattias Kuusik won the category U90kg for his country Estonia. Johan Mettis was the last who won a European Cup for Estonia in 2015, so quite a performance for Kuusik (22). In the final Kuusik won his contest against Teimuraz Khachidze of Georgia. Another medal for France by Ourouzmag Magkeyev and Johannes Pacher of Austria who both won bronze.
Ibragim Margiev of Russia defeated Cedric Olivar of France in the final U100kg. Paul Devos (FRA) and Davide Pozzi (ITA) caught a bronze medal in Malaga. Mabil Zalagh completed the successful weekend for France with w a fifth title. The final +100kg was against teammate Messie Katanga. Aslan Dzhioev (RUS) and David Fernandez (30) who became one of the oldest medallists this weekend.
The youngest medallist of the weekend was 16-year old Joana Crisostomo of Portugal who lost the final U70kg against Israelian Yarden Mayersohn. Anne-Katrin Lisewski is back from an adventure in Brazil and showed she can still compete and win a medal at this level. This month she became secenth in Glasgow at European Open level. Interesting to see what more is in the can. Lucie Perrot of France won the other bronze.
Laia Talarn signed for the second Spanish victory this weekend, a very welcome victory for Talarn who finally won this tournament after silver in 2011 and 2012. In the final U78kg Talarn defeated Linda Politi of Italy. Brigita Ljuba-Matic came back successfully with a bronze medal for Croatia. Julie Pierret of France also won the bronze.
Raz Hershko captured the second title if Israel. Hershko won the final against Sara Alvarez of Spain. Morgane Duchene (FRA) and Katarina Vukovic (CRO) won bronze.
France won the medal table with five champions followed by Spain that lost five finals but won two gold medals. Russia and Israel also captured two title. The European Cup will be continued with a training camp close to Malaga.