Potential judo gold for Russia is melting under the heat of the European Judo Championships in Prague. Four time gold medallist Natalia Kuziutina surprisingly lost her quarter final against the experienced Andreea Chitu of Romania and sent Kuziutina back to the repechage contests. Chitu showed to be able to stunt today. She is double European Champion herself in this category and is in great shape given today’s route to the final so far and her bronze at the Grand Slam in Budapest.
Two Spanish opponents surprised by defeating their French and Belgian favourites. Estrella Lopez Sheriff defeated Charline van Snick in the quarter and Lopez also overcame Swiss frontrunner Evelyne Tschopp. The other Swiss Fabienne Kocher lost to Odette Giuffrida. Estrella Lopez Sheriff wasn’t the only Spaniard to showcase herself in Prague. Ana Perez Box booked two victories and defeated Astride Gneto in the quarter finals. The last time a Spanish women U52kg captured a medal was in 2013 by Laura Gomez, now they have two chances.
Andreea Chitu can collect her third European title or at least sixth European medal if she is able to beat Ana Perez Box. European Championships and Odette Giufrrida never have been a good marriage, but in this corona year, history doesn’t count for the Italian who steams of ambition. After four times a fifth place, this is the year where Giuffrida will take what she owns if she can overcome Estrella Lopez. Ten years ago Rosalba Forciniti took European silver in this division for Italy.