They were world champions. They are European champions. Daria Bilodid and Guram Tushishvili confirm their leadership in Minsk at the European Games (June 22-25). Georgii Zantaraia is also in gold for the 3rd time of his career. Together, they add 13 Ippons in 15 fights !
Varlam Liparteliani and Irina Dolgova were very close to the title but leave with the silver medal, the 5th one for the Georgian. Vazha Margvelashvili, Hidayet Heydarov and Khusen Khalmurzaev got bronze.
By Ludovic Mauchien
5 minutes, that’s what it took all in all for Georgia’s Guram Tushishvili to win his first European title in Minsk at the European Games (June 22-25). The World champion (+100 kg) won all his fights by Ippon, either against Grol in ½ final (in 1’03”) or against Russia’s Tasoev in the final (in 1’38). His record ? 11 seconds against Poland’s Sarnacki in the 2nd round ! The Georgian, 24 years old, is positioning himself more and more like the man to beat by a certain Teddy Riner.
The woman to beat in -48 kg, we know her for a long time… Unbeaten in 38 fights, she had her first defeat since August 2017 in the Tbilisi GP final on March 29, beaten by France’s Melanie Clement. Not twice ! In Minsk, the youngest World champion in history, Daria Bilodid (-48 kg), won her second European championship at just 18 years old. She also won all her fights by Ippon, with the exception of the final that she won by Waza against Irina Dolgova. The Russian defending champion had previously dominated Portugal’s Costa in the ½ final (waza in the golden score). At 23, she won her 4th European medal.
Varlam Liparteliani (-100 kg), no longer wants to count his silver medals, all his lost finals. Winner of all his fights by Ippon until his ½ final against France’s Cyril Maret, the Georgian is surprised by Russia’s Adamian in the final and bows on… Ippon. This is his 9th European medal, his 5th silver (9th if we include the Olympics and Worlds) !
A record that makes salivate more than one, starting with his young compatriot Vazha Margvelashvili (-66 kg). European Champion in 2016, 3rd of the 2017 Worlds, the Gori child got a new international medal with the bronze won by Ippon against Vieru, following his loss in the ½ final against Italy’s Medves (waza). A category won by the indestructible Georgii Zantaraia, who won a 10th medal in the international championships in 10 years, and his 3rd continental Gold in Minsk. With 4 Ippons in 5 bouts, the Ukrainian of Georgian origin easily played with the adversity, in the ½ final against Niniashvili as in the final against Medves (Ippon each time).
Hidayet Heydarov (-73 kg) also made his Ippons. Eliminated in the 1/4 final by Greece’s Azoidis, he then dominated Karapetian (waza in the Golden score), then Lasha Shavdatuashvili on Ippon in the bronze fight. The latter fell in ½ final against the future winner, Sweden’s Macias (waza in the Golden Score).
In -90 kg, Khusen Khalmurzaev won his 2nd European medal after 2017. It is bronze and that is enough to his happiness. But he was very close to the final. It took 4’40 in the Golden score for Turkey’s Ozerler, the future winner, to surprise him (Ippon). The Russian will then get his podium against Chamberlain (Ippon). In the other ½ final, Noel Van T End of the Netherlands lost to Israel’s Kochman (Ippon).
1 Russia (2, 3, 2)
2 Georgia (2, 1, 4)
3 France (2, 0, 3)
4 Ukraine (2, 0, 0)
5 Kosovo (1, 1, 1)