Tbilisi 2009-Preview 2nd day

EJU Article – The preview for day 2 of the European Championships in Tbilisi


Women U63
Dimitri Androutsou (GRE) is the youngest participant in this category. Elisabeth Willeboordse (NED), chosen as favourite at EJU’s Fantasyleague, is the oldest with 30 years.

Willeboordse is favored to win, but ended up close to Urska Zolnir. So this dreamfinal can happen again on Saturday as they are separated based on their position on the EJU World Ranking.

Willeboordse and Zolnir fought nine times, the most fights of all head2heads of all participants. Willeboordse however won 8 out of 9 matches since 2001 and is Zolnir’s nemesis. Surprisingly they have never met at previous European championships. Last confrontation was at the 2008 Beijing Olympics for 5/7 place. Willeboordse finally won the bronze.

Willeboordse was in 2005 the last European Champion still competing in this category. After 2005, 2006 winner Sarah Clark moved to the U57 class, and Decosse, who won twice, moved to the U70 kilogram category.


Women U70
Silver Olympic medalist (U63) Lucie Decosse (FRA) has moved to the U70 kilogram weight category. Interesting fact is that Emane Gevrise from France is the current world champion in this category and left home.

Lucie Decosse is one of the 12 Olympic medalists from Beijing present in Georgia. However in Friday’s competition Olympic medal winners Giulia Quintavalle, Deborah Gravenstijn and Ruben Houkes lost their fights and didn’t win any medal in Tbilisi. Ludwig Paischer and Alina Dumitru both won the bronze at Friday.

Ylenia Scapin was last year the second oldest ever female European champions at the age of 33. Only Isabel Fernandez (ESP) was older winning U57 in 2007 at the age of 35. Salome Tsotskolauri however could break that record easily (on paper), as she is 38 years and by far the oldest participant in Tbilisi 2009.

Edith Bosch has not been very fit the last weeks, but is still one of the favourites to win this category if she can beat Decosse. She has never fought Lucie Decosse.


Men U73
George Georgiev is the oldest participant in this class with 33 years. He’s the only one who won an Olympic medal besides winning three European Championships medals (all bronze).

EJU fans-Favourites however are Mansur Isaev (RUS) with 25.7% of the votes followed by current champion Dirk van Tichelt 18.8%.
Isaev is the current U23 European champion and has won the IJF Grand Prix in Hamburg this year. Isaev beat Van Tichelt in the semi final on their only joint match.

Kiyoshi Uematsu (ESP) is certainly an outsider. He was last year’s runner-up losing to Van Tichelt, but won the European title in 2004.
Uematsu fought Van Tichelt 4 times, 3-1 in Spanish advance. The last and most important won by Van Tichelt. Uematsu never fought Isaev.

Hungarian participant Attila Ungvari is the younger brother of Friday’s European Champion Miklos Ungvari. They are both from a family of 8 children.

Dutch Dex Elmont is an outsider and seems to be fit again. Dex Elmont is Guilaume’s younger brother.


Men U81
Since the weight change in 1998 this weight category has had 10 different countries as the winner. Only Swiss Sergei Aschwanden won twice.
Russia never won this weight class. Ivan Nifontov was a surprising choice in Russia’s line-up.

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

Robert Krawczyk (POL) is the oldest (31 years), Artem Vasylenko (UKR) the youngest (19 years).

Most experienced in this category are Guillaume Elmont, 2005 World champion, Ole Bischof, this year’s Olympic Champion and Robert Krawczyk, European champion in 2007. Elmont suffers a serious wrist injury but doesn’t want to operated as the World Championships take place in The Netherlands in August.