6th Iliadis Cup: Georgia is the medal leader after 1st day

Georgia is leading the medals’ classification by the completion of the first day in the European Cup Juniors «6th Iliadis Cup» hosted at the Palais des Sports in Thessaloniki, with a total outcome of five medals. The representatives of Georgia won three gold medals , one silver and one bronze (lost just two final matches) and stand as serious contenders for winning first place in this year’s event. Bulgaria won three medals , one of each color , while Germany had one gold and one silver. Great Britain, Moldova and Poland celebrated one gold medal during the first day.

The first gold medal of Georgia in this year’s tournament, came in -55kg category from Tornike Nagliashvili.This young Georgian who was 5th in the World U18 Championship in Maiami 2013 beat Denislav Ivanov (Bulgaria) in the final by Ippon after Osaekomi-waza. Valentin Alipiev (Bulgaria, 5th in World Junior U21 Championship in Ljubljana) and Sadikh Maharramov (Azerbaijan), finished 3rd in the U17 World Championships in 2011, were found in the third step of the podium. 

In the -60kg category, Georgia managed to clinch yet another gold medal thanks to Ivane Javakhishvili who prevailed against Begli Meretgeldiyev (Turkmenistan) by Waza-ari. The bronze medal was won by David Hozak (Czech Republic) and Davud Mammadov (Azerbaijan),European champion 2013 in the -55kg U21 category.

In the -66kg category it was the turn of Giorgi Gugulashvili to give another gold medal to Georgia. In the final he defeated Martin Setz (Germany) with the match being decided by shido. The ‘bronze’ U21 European champion in the 2013, Martin Vegvari (Hungary) and Beka Vibliani (Georgia) both took 3rd place. The latter, defeated 2013 U21 European Champion , Rashad Rufullayev (Azerbaijan) in the final of repechage .

In the -73kg Robert Barwig needed a Waza-ari to break the resistance of Omari Niazashvili (Georgia) and to finally give Germany the gold medal, the only one they won on the first day of the 6th Iliadis Cup. The 3rd place went to Milan Nicolic (Serbia, 1st in Balkan U21 Championship in Ohrid) and his compatriot , Strahinia Buncic (3rd in European Cadet U18 Championships in 2013).

In the -44kg category, Borislava Damyanova (Bulgaria), the 2013 U21 European Champion, won her third gold medal in Iliadis Cup ( last year she was second ), after beating Elisa Adrasti (Italy) in the final by Yuko. Gulfairuz Naimantayeva (Kazakhstan) and Athanasia Zariopi (Greece) were found in third place.

In the -48kg category, Cristina Budescu (Moldova), third at the U21 European Championship in Sarajevo in 2013 , won the final against Ana Heberle (Slovenia). Milica Nikolic (Serbia), the title holder in this tournament up to a few hours ago,  fell to third place which she “shared” with Sara Maria Romano (Italy), the bronze 2011 U17 World Champion in Kiev.

In the -52kg category Jade Lewis (Great Britain) ,managed to win first place in the 6th Iliadis Cup, after winning the Northern Ireland Open in Belfast last month .She beat Nazakat Khalili (Azerbaijan) by Ippon and gave Great Britain their only medal on the first day of the games. The 3rd place was shared between Assel Kaissarova (Kazakhstan) and the 15-year old Tihea Topolovec (Croatia).

In the -57kg category Anna Borowska (Poland) beat the Kosovar Leutrime Krasniqi (IJF), by Yuko just 32 seconds before the end of the match, while the third place went to Timna Nelson Levy (Israel) and Fabiola Pidroni (Italy).

Bear in mind that two new records were broken during the «6th Iliadis Cup»; the number of participating countries as well as the number of athletes taking part. Overall, there are 32 countries being represented by 326 athletes in Thessaloniki , which both are record numbers for an event that is going through just the 6th time since its inception.