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Israel, France and Russia celebrate gold medals

21 Nov 2020 17:50

   IJF Gabriela Sabau / International Judo Federation

The French women remain the strongest in Europe. With five gold medals at the European Championships in Prague the French dominated the tournament. On Saturday Madeleine Malonga and Romane Dicko captured the European title. For men it was Russia that met the expectations with two extra gold medals on the closing day in Prague. Mikhail Igolnikov and heavyweight Tamerlan Bashaev claimed the gold and with two silver medals, Russia was truly strong. Only Israels Peter Paltchik could escape the Russian takeover.

Paris winner Peter Paltchik qualified for the final after his victory against his good friend Varlam Liparteliani. In the final Paltchik escaped from a throw by Arman Adamian, it was truly close to wazari, if not a score. Not much later it was Paltchik to strike with a score, perhaps doubtful after two almost scores, but the Israelian celebrated his second European gold with coach Oren Smadga. They danced and hugged like never before. Without the crowd they were alone and left Adamian devastated with silver.

Still Russia was exceptionally strong with gold for Mikhail Igolnikov in his class U90kg. The Russian winner of the Grand Slam in Budapest needed 75 seconds for a takeover against Nemanja Majdov of Serbia. In an amazing field it was Igolnikov who more and more signs for his candidacy for the Olympic title next year. His pure talent over the last 10 years now rose to world senior level and so far has been unstoppable after the corona break.

Title defender Mikhail Zgank defeated World Champion Noel van ‘t End for the repechage final but couldn’t prevent Mammadali Mehdiyev to snatch a bronze medal. Noel van ‘t End for the first time lost to Beka Gviniashvili, his favourite opponent, not today though. The Georgian qualified for the semi final but lost to Majdov. For bronze Gviniashvili defeated 2018 World Champion Nikoloz Sherazadishvili of Spain. Gviniashvili won his second European senior medal, Igolnikov regained his title from 2018.

Romane Dicko unleashed her textbook makikomi to Iryna Kindzerska of Azerbaijan in the final for women +78kg and after two minutes she was crowned European Champion. Just like Igolnikov and Malonga she regained her gold medal of 2018. Yelyzaveta Kalanina (UKR) and Rochele Nunes of Portugal grabbed a bronze medal.

Tamerlan Bashaev became the big man in the heavyweights. He is big but not so tall. He defeated the favourite for gold Inal Tasoev who recently won the title at the Grand Slam in Budapest with a victory over Bashaev. Russia’s Bashaev though outsmarted Tasoev.

The road to the final wasn’t easy. Forst Bashaev defeated Richard Sipocz in the first round, the man on form from Hugary who won two European titles in two weeks time. Then Ushangi Kokauri was the next victim followed by the stunt against Lukas Krpalek in just 70 seconds. In the semis Tasoev beat 2018 World Champion Guram Tushishvili (GEO) and Bashaev overcame Levani Matiashvili, twice Russia prevailed. In al all Russian final it was Bashaev who decided the match in the golden score when Tasoev walked into the seoi-nage knife Bashaev had in mind, and threw Tasoev for wazari in a split second. The gold was for Bashaev this time as he lost the final in 2018 to Iakiv Khammo.

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Related Judo Photos

  • Madeleine Malonga (FRA) - Grand Slam Paris (2020, FRA) - © Klaus Müller, Watch:
  • Mikhail Igolnikov (RUS) - Grand Slam Budapest (2020, HUN) - © IJF Gabriela Sabau, International Judo Federation
  • Romane Dicko (FRA) - Grand Slam Paris (2020, FRA) - © Klaus Müller, Watch:

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