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Georgia (men) and Croatia (women) were the grand winners of the Final
Today (Sunday) was the second and final day of European Cup U21 «5th Iliadis Cup», a major event, which was hosted at Evosmos-Salonica and captured the imagination of the city, which embraced the Grand Prix stage to showcase 255 judokas from 25 countries over the two days. Georgia (category of men) and Croatia (category of women) confirmed their claim for a top rating.
Georgia went on to precede from the very first day of the Cup, and -substantially- today they validated the result. Rampant Georgia was the triumpher of the medal podium at "5th Iliadis Cup" and managed to collect 5 gold, 5 silver and 3 bronze medals, proving undoubtlessly that talent production in this country (a traditional judo power) has retained the same irreducible path and tension. Azerbaijan was the second winner of the Cup, gathering a gold, a silver and 5 bronze medals.
With regards to women, Croatia had a hard task to edge out their competitors and win the first position -concerning the medals won and the general rating at the Cup- thanks to the gold medal at -63kg category. Croatia's reigning medallists managed to be credited with 2 gold, three silver and one bronze, overcoming and leaving UK at the second-place (2 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze) and Serbia at the third one (2 gold, 1 bronze).
At the level of -81 Kg, the gold medal went to Serbian Stefan Majdov, who recorded a waza-ari (as from ippon seoi nage) against one of the leading athletes of this category, Ivaylo Ivanov from Bulgary. Ivanov, who was a silver medallist at last year's Iliadis Cup, is proud of the acquisition of a gold medal at European Championship U17, which was hosted at Teplice in 2010 (-73kg category). At the same category, Alexios Ntanatsidis, the European Champion in 2012 at Porec, and Νo 1 around Europe in this level, could not defend the title he won during last year's contest and was defeated by Ippon (yoko guruma) by the Croation judoka Denis Beljic.
In -90kg category, a level where Ilias Iliadis -2 times Olympic Games gold medalist and one of the outstanding European judokas-has pedigree, it was Lasha Taveluri's (Georgia) turn to win the gold medal. In the Final, he won Beka Gviniashvili, his 17 years old compatriot, via Ippon (te waza) and won the gold medal. In 2012, for the Contest of European Championship U20 (Porec), Gviniashvili was 2nd behind Ntanatsidi at -81kg, whilst in 2011 he won the World Championship U17 (Kiev, also in -81kg).
In the -100kg category, 17 judokas participating, Guram Tushishvili from Georgia (Νο-4 in the European juniors ranking list, winner of the World Championship in 2011 at U17 and 3rd -place at Porec in 2012), defeated his compatriot Giorgi Kavtaradze by waza-ari (ippon seoi-nage) to win gold and become the leader of the category.
In the +100kg, two more athletes from Georgia were present. Levani Matiashvili, the favourite player of the category, won over Giorgi Zakariadze by Ippon (ippon seoi nage). At the European Championships U20 held in Porec, Matiashvili was tanked first and gave Zakariadze the opportunity to be among the top athletes at the ranking list of the heavyweights.
At -63kg, Maja Blagojevic , the Champion of the Croatian Championship in the category U21 during the last February, defeated Bar Farin from Israel by waza-ari (from uchi-gari) and will to a higher position of the European ranking list (prior to the commencement of the tournament, she was at No 20). As for Katie-Jemima Yeats Brown, who was 3rd in the World Championship U20 in 2011 (Kiev), in the semi-final she was defeated by Farin and managed -through the repechage- to get the bronze medal.
Yesterday, it was Bekky Livesey who sealed her performance and was first at -57kg, and today, her sister Amy won a gold medal at -70kg, where 5 athletes participated in total. At the match, where the gold medal was judged, Amy Livesey won by Ippon the Greek judoka Elisavet Teltsidou, who -in turn- was limited to the second-place and the silver medal.
Unquestionably, Croatian Brigita Matic was the favourite athlete to win the gold medal and proved this in the tatami. Matic, having won three European medals during the last two years (1st in U17 -2012- at -70kg, 2nd in U20 -2012-, 3rd in U17 -2011- at -70kg), managed three victories at three games and climbed at the top of the medal podium. Chiara Meucci from Italy -who was 5th in the European Cup U21 of Coimbra last month- was ranked second.
At +78kg (women), 18 years old Jodie Myers took three wins and captured the gold medal, leaving Ivana Sutalo from Croatia - second at the European Championships U20 (Porec) last year - at the second-place.
Editors: Giannis Chatzidopavlakis / HJF, Zeta Theodorakopoulou / HJF