Georgia had another chance for a European gold medal as Varlam Liparteliani qualified for the final U100kg but was opposed to Toma Nikiforov of Belgium and Toma is in a great shape. He is collecting medals to qualify for the games after a long period of injuries and also in Lisbon he took the gold medal against the experienced Liparteliani.
Nikiforov secured the gold for his country after Casse took silver on Saturday U81kg. Nikiforov won five contests against tough opponents: Gasimov, Sviryd, the revived Cyrille Maret and Georgian talent Ilia Sulamanidze in the semi final. Frenchman Alex Iddir took the bronze and Zelym Kotsoiev kept his pace winning important medals, taking bronze this weekend in Lisbon. Nikiforov is the third Belgian men who won a second European title after Daniel Outelet and Robert Van de Walle.
Russia took a desired gold medal +100kg in a strong field in Lisbon. Inal Tasoev didn’t have much trouble with Dutchman Henk Grol who qualified unofficial for Tokyo in Lisbon after this performance. Grol who defeated his rival Roy Meyer in a direct confrontation for the first time in a tense fight progressed via a victory over number one seed Lukas Krpalek in the semi final. The Czech judo celeb took bronze after a win over Or Sasson of Israel. Georgia’s Guram Tushishvili overcame Roy Meyer. All four best seeded players took a medal.
Polish Beata Pacut set a unique European title after defeating Dutch former world number one Guusje Steenhuis in the final U78kg. Pacut captured the title as first Polish woman since Adriana Daci in 2002. Her coach Robert Krzwczyk was the last European Champion for Poland in 2007. Pacut is in a great shape and warmed up last months with fifth places at the Europeans in Prague and Grand Slam Tashkent. In Antalya this month she reached the final of the Grand Slam and on Sunday she moved up to gold and won her first senior European medal. Pacut won silver at the 2014 Junior Europeans in Bucharest and won bronze at the U23’s one year later and in 2017, so the talent was always there. Pacut defeated Inbar Lanir (ISR), number one seed Fanny Posvite and the experienced Audrey Tcheumeo, both from France, in the semi final, so didn’t get anything for free for this career best.
The gold for women +78kg was for Kayra Sayit who took her second European title. In 2016, also in the Olympic year she won the championships in Kazan, the next stop for most athletes to gain points. Sayit defeated French surprise Lea Fontaine in the heavyweight final.
It took only 50 seconds until the Portuguese Rochele Nunes defeated the Ukrainian Yelyzaveta Kalanina with “ippon” in the +78 kg category and won Portugal’s fourth medal in European judo in the Altice Arena in Lisbon. A triumph with the highest number of points in the fourth match of the judoka in the competition, which guaranteed the bronze, against an opponent who had never won.
After the gold medal from Telma Monteiro (-57 kg) and the bronze from João Crisóstomo (-66 kg) this Friday and the bronze from Bárbara Timo (-70 kg) this Saturday, it was Rochele Nunes’ turn on the podium and the fourth medal for Portugal at this successful championship.
Read more on the battle of two Georgian fighters U90kg.