At the last day of the Cadet European Championships in Porec there was a massive fireworks, not outside but in the Intersport hall where judo fans could see a glimpse of the future. As usual France proved to be strong in the young women’s divisions on that last day.
Lila Mazzarino (FRA) won her weight class U70kg by controlling Ecem Baysug (TUR) during the match but still another medal for Turkey. Baysug couldn’t prevent the strong grip of the French athlete who scored eventually by o soto for ippon. Not only the gold counts at this Championship but certainly a medal motivates. Jael Wernert (AUT) and Serena Ondei (ITA) both took the bronze. You could think this was a French weight class but it was won only once by a French athlete that we all know: Marie-Eve Gahie in 2013. Usually these athlete move up to women U78kg at junior or senior level, where the French are so strong. Nothing indicates that at cadet level. In fact this is a German weight class and the German cadets were nowhere today despite two participants.
Also in the heavyweight division France dominated with two athletes on the podium. The gold was for Grace Esther Mienandi Lalou (FRA) who defeated Yuli Alma Mishiner (ISR). The Israeli took second silver medal at European level, just like last year, but got finished with oseikomi by Lalou. Celia Cancan (FRA) and Diana Semchenko (UKR) took the bronze medals.
Ukraine celebrated a gold medal for Igor Tsurkan (UKR) who’s been strong whole season. In the final for men U81kg he defeated Gor Karapetyan (ARM). You see the progression these youngsters make with mature judo at first sight. Experience senior level will probably deliver another feeling but it looks great from the outside, fast, powerful and gutsy. Tsurkan overtook Karapetyan’s attack and transitioned to ne waza and secured the gold medal with oseikomi. For Tsurkan it was a confirmation of his three European Cup titles. Ronald Proell (AUT) and Dusan Grahovac (SRB) took bronze.
Serbia had the pleasure to see a gold medal for the first time in 6 years and the first time in ten years for a man. Milan Bulaja (SRB) claimed the victory against Peter Kenderesi (HUN). It was a lively match and both scored but it was Bulaja who succeeded Strahinja Buncic as last European male Champion in this age group after he scored a second wazari. Maksims Bizans (LAT) added another medal for Latvia, a great performance. Ukraine took another medal as well by Oleksii Boldyriev (UKR).
In the men’s +90kg even the gold went to the Ukraine. Christian Khokhlov (UKR) overcame Davit Kevlishvili (ESP) among the heavy boys. It was the summum of the day and a second gold medal for Ukraine. Khokhlov recently took gold in the Strasbourg at the Cadet European Cup but this one was the icing on the cake for a splendid season. More to come in July and August. Ibrahim Tataroglu (TUR) (what’s in a name for a heavyweight) and Bogdan Petre (ROU) took the heavyweight bronze medals.
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