Slovenians lead all time medal tally after two gold medals in Sofia

The Slovenians have always been successful in the history of the World Cup in Sofia. Heavyweight Lucija Polavder was able to win her fourth title ever in Sofia and now leads this all time tally together with Rasa Sraka who didn’t compete in Sofia. Polavder’s win over Elena Ivaschenko (RUS) was quite surprising but she was good the whole day beating Anaid Mkhitaryan (RUS), Kanae Yamabe (JPN) in the pre rounds and Sarah Adlington (GBR) in the semi final.


Besides Polavder’s medal, also Ana Velensek of Slovenia won the gold. U78kg Velensek beat Ruika Sato, who won the Korean Open last December. Velensek who is Slovenia’s U20, U23 and Senior champion won her first World Cup today.


But not only Slovenia had a good day. Japan stated again that they are masters of this sport. Today both gold medals U63 and U70 were for Japan. U63 2008 Asian Champion Rina Kozawa beat her country women Mutsumi Matsuoka and U70 Imai Yuko defeated Haruka Tachimoto as well in an all-Japan final.


Slovenia and Japan now won the most gold medals all time since 1989 of the World Cup in Sofia. Both countries lead with 15 titles out of 147 champions.


In this year’s medal tally Japan dominated with 6 final spots, but only won two. Slovenia follows with two gold medals and Russia, Romania and Belgium all took one gold medal.


1st day

Romania was a great surprise today in the medal tally at the First women’s World Cup of this year in Sofia. With a gold medal U57kg and two bronze medals U48, Romania leads for Russia and Belgium.


Corina Caprioriu was responsible for the victory U57kg defeating Hannah Brueck (GER) in the final by ippon. The 23-year old Romanian judoka is very experienced although she relatively young. But as World Cups she never reached a gold medal, but lost three previous finals in 2006 (Bucharest), 2007 (Sofia) and 2009 (Madrid). But this year she was on the winning side against 20-year old Hannah Brueck who won her first World Cup medal ever. But the German Champion couldn’t resist the ippon of Caprioriu who won so many international silver medals.


Good news for Romania who saw Olympic Champion Alina Dumitru losing to 16-year old Hiromi Endo (JPN) in the semi final U48kg, but ‘Pitzi’ won the bronze after a victory against Michael Baschin (GER). The gold however was for Belgian Charline Van Snick. Van Snick won the first World Cup for Belgium since 2006 (Leen Dom in Rome) U48kg. Between Dom and Van Snick only Ilse Heylen won a World Cup for Belgium. But Belgium is climbing in Europe with good performances of its talents U17 and U20, and good performances of Dirk van Tichelt in the men’s category. Van Snick, last year’s European Champion U20, is the first of the talents who now won a World Cup at the Seniors after winning four major European U20 tournaments.


Who else than Natalia Kuzyutina won the U52kg weight class. But it was the dream final against 18-year old World Junior Champion Majlinda Kelmendi from Kosovo, who competed for Albania in this occasion as her country is not recognized by the IOC. Kelmendi won three matches, but in the final was superior and won her fourth match of the day. The average age of the winners today was 20 years which is good for judo.