Tbilisi 2009-Preview 1st day

EJU Article – The preview for day 1 of the European Championships in Tbilisi…


Women U48
In 2008, Alina Dumitru won her fifth successive European Championship title. Edith Hrovat (AUT) is leading the list with 8 wins, from 1975-1979 5 in a row. Angelique Seriese (NED) also won 8 European titles, from 1992-1996 5 in a row.

Alina Dumitru (ROU U48), Giulia Quintavalle (ITA U57) and Ole Bischof (GER U81) are the three Olympic champions who will be competing in Tbilisi.

Alina Dumitru (ROU) has an impressive 89.7% record at European Championships, winning 26 matches out of 29 before Euro2009.


Women U52
Majlinda Kelmendi (ALB) will be one of the youngest participants (17) at the European Championships. Competing for Albania in international events, Kelmendi is originally from Kosovo which is not yet recognised by the international sports federations and IOC.

Defending Champion Ana Carrascosa (ESP) has won European silver in 2002 and finally won the gold in 2008. She will meet rookie Kelmendi (ALB).

Monika Cabaj from Poland will be 28 on Saturday after fighting on Friday (women’s U52).

Natalia Kuzyutina (RUS) is the most successful participant U52kg this year winning the Tournoi de Paris Grand Slam and the World Cup of Prague. She won bronze in Sofia.

Petra Nareks (SLO) also won three medals, one victory amongst them winning in Sofia, followed by bronze in Hamburg and Prague.

Petra Nareks (SLO) won five European bronze medals and was runner-up in 2003, but never won the gold.


Women U57
Both Olympic finalists U57 will be present in Tbilisi; Giulia Quintavalle (ITA) beat Deborah Gravenstijn (NED) in Beijing.

Giulia Quintavalle (ITA U57), Alina Dumitru (ROU U48) and Ole Bischof (GER U81) are the three Olympic champions who will be competing in Tbilisi.
Telma Monteiro (POR) has an impressive 88.2% record at European Championships, winning 15 matches out of 17.

Defending Champion Sabrina Filzmoser has won four bronze medals and won the gold in 2008.

Telma Monteiro (POR) is favourite to win the title as she is the most successful participant U57kg this year winning the World Cup of Sofia and the IJF Grand prix of Hamburg. Ioulietta Boukouvala (GRE) won the Grand Slam Tournoi de Paris. Both fighters are separated and can meet in the final if they win 3 matches.

Olympic Champion Giulia Quintavalle has never won a European medal.

Olympic silver medallist Deborah Gravenstijn (NED) never won European gold. She won her last European medal in 2002!


Men U60
In the U60 kilogram weight class in Beijing, both European medal winners Paischer (2nd AUT) and Houkes (3rd NED) lost to Korean Olympic Champion Min-Ho Choi.

The Europeans will be the first international match of World Champion Ruben Houkes since winning the bronze at the Beijing Olympic Games due to various injuries.

Elio Verde (ITA) is the only participant U60kg who won a World Cup this year. He won Warsaw beating Hovhannes Davtyan (ARM)

Home favourite Nestor Khergiani (GEO) won 8 European Championships medals. He won 6 bronze medals and two European titles (1998 and 2003).


Men U66
Rok Draksic (SLO) is the only participant U66kg who won a World Cup this year. He won the World Cup in Budapest.

Miklós Ungvári (HUN) is the most experienced participant U66kg. He has won 7 World Cup, and 19 World Cup medals. He became European champion in 2002, but lost two finals (2005 and 2008).

Georgian Zaza Kedelashvili was one of the favourites to win his fourth European title in succession, however he does not compete this year.