Home » Judo news
The latest Judo News offered by JudoInside.com
Mikhail Ozerler gives Turkey European gold
24 Jun 2019 16:55
For the first time in 15 years a Turkish man won the European title. Mikhail Ozerler captured the European Games gold medal in the final against his Israelian opponent Li Kochman. Ozerler previously named Mihael Zgank (SLO), didn’t get the title for free. He was the last man standing in a crazy day full of surprises.
Ozerler didn’t start as the favourite, but slowly moved forward in a challenging pool where he beat Jesper Smink (NED) in the golden score. 2017 European Champion Aleksandar Kukolj followed in his second contest in a minute. Mammadali Mehdiyev, the winner of the Grand Slam in Düsseldorf was defeated after three minutes which was a sign that everything was possible. In the semi final Ozerler defeated Khusen Khalmurzaev, the brother of the Olympic Champion U81kg in a tough battle. The contest took more than eight minutes where Ozerler scored ippon. In the final Ozerler defeated Li Kochman who survived a pool with Toth and Trippel. Today was a total weird situation in this U90kg class with lots of surprises.
World medallists like 2018 World Champion Nikoloz Sherazadishvili (ESP) lost against Swiss Ciril Grossklaus. 2017 World Champion Nemanja Majdov lost to Frazer Chamberlain (GBR) as biggest shocks.
Mammadali Mehdiyev took a bronze medal after his contest against Dutchman Noël van ‘t End who won his pool with Majdov and Clerget. Khusen Khalmurzaev won the second bronze when he overcame Frazer Chamberlain who had lost to Van ‘t End in the quarter final.
Selim Tataroglu was the last Turkish man to win the European title. So the Federation gets in which they invested, one year for the Games. The previous champion for Turkey was Kayra Sayit, who was the former French fighter Ketty Mathe. It’s a normal process in a professional sport where Turkey maybe one of the frontrunners, but we just don’t realise.
Ozerler was ecstatic: "I feel incredible. It was a perfect day for me. When I came to the warm-up area in the morning I felt goosebumps all over my body and I knew this was going to be my day. "
How was your preparation to these Games?
"Between the Grand Prix in Antalya and the European championships, we had the Grand Slam Baku and I lost in the second round there, so I was disappointed. I know that I am in good shape. So I pushed myself in the last weeks and prepared well, also mentally. It turned out to be great for me."
It was a surprising final against Kochman
Ozerler: “In the medal matches athletes are always equal and only the little details make the difference in the end. He obviously started better. I knew I had to push more and every minute I pushed myself more. Sometimes you have to play smart and use the shidos to take the gold medal.”
You didn’t get it easily with a semi-final of eight minutes
Ozerler: "Me and Khusen have a long journey behind us. We started fighting when we were juniors. I knew it was going to be a tough match even though he was tired from his previous matches. During the match I started feeling stronger and I felt that he was losing his stamina a little bit. I knew this was my chance."
Did you switch to Turkey contribute in the end?
Ozerler: "In one way I became a man because I went away from my parents. I had to spend time alone and face some things alone in my life. And I really grew as a person."
Related judoka and events
Related Judo Photos
Related Judo News
What an amazing battle field in the category U90kg where World Champion Nikoloz Sherazadishvili lost too early against Swiss Ciril Grossklaus. It was just one of those surprises. 2017 European Champion Aleksandar Kukolj lost to Mikail Ozerler, the world’s runner up of 2017 who reached the final. Another Serbian Nemanja Majdov, 2017 World Champion, lost to Frazer Chamberlain (GBR) where Dutchman Noël van ‘t End won this pool and defeated Axel Clerget on the road. Read more
Brazil’s Rafael Macedo became the first male judoka to break Georgia’s stranglehold of the gold medals in Tbilisi. Hosts Georgia had a perfect record of five gold medals from five men’s categories before the U90kg final. Read more
France was the best nation at the European Cup in Belgrade in the men’s competition on Sunday with two gold medals. There was silver and bronze for the Serbian men and in total Serbia captured six medals at the first European Open. This year the level of the tournament was raised from European Cup to European Open. Israel won the medal tally with the last gold medal of Li Kochman. Read more
What a story for Belarus at the European Open in Minsk winning three gold medals for the first time since 2006. On Sunday Yahor Varapayeu and Uladzislau Tsiarpitski added another gold medal to the one of Darya Skrypnik on Saturday. Read more
The two favourite Romanian athletes for the European Open in Bucharest met the expectations taking two gold medals. Other interesting topics were the return of Austrian Bernadett Graf who started in the U70kg category and was immediately successful with gold and a victory against European Champion Audrey Tcheumeo. Most likely she is still the best option U70kg. Read more
Luka Lesko (CRO)