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The last day of the U23 European Championships shall decide which country performed best as so far nine different countries have won a gold medal. Where Russia, German and Hungary are traditionally the strongest countries in this age class, now nothing has been decided.
The final U63kg delivered Lubjana Piovesana of Great Britain against Renate Zachova, the first Czech girl in a final since 2006 when Alena Eiglova took silver.
In the last minute Zachova made one mistake and Piovesana felt she could switch direction and benefit with wazari and almost caught Zachova on the ground. Piovesana won all her previous matches in ne-waza but the score in the last minute was enough to catch the gold U63kg. The fifth ever European U23 title for Great Britain and the third in four years.
The final U73kg was between Akil Gjakova of Kosovo against Rufat Mammadov, the winner of the Paris Grand Slam against the U23 Champion of Azerbaijan. But Mammadov tried all he can and almost scored a wazari in the beginning of the match and gave a good fight to Gjakova with his dangerous belt grip. Gjakova kept cool though and received two penalties but needed just backswitch with his hip and turned it into a barai and scored a full ippon, great move by Gjakova. Kosova celebrate another champion after DIstria Krasniqi won the title in 2016 and 2017 and his sister Nora Gjakova won gold under the IJF flag in 2014 and Kelmendi in a same situation in 2012.
The final U70kg was decided in two minutes when Michaela Polleres scored ippon against Spanish Sara Rodriguez. Polleres had her favourite grip on Rodriguez’ back and could go any way and made a kosoto gari in the edge of the tatami.
Vladimir Alkhalkatsi won the gold for men U81kg who didn’t have to fight the final against his compatriot Tamazi Kirakozashvili, both from Georgia. Germany won both two bronze medals as Tio Cavelius and Tim Gramkow won their bronze contests.
After two days in Györ Russia still leads the medal table, followed now by Georgia but nine countries have won a gold medal, that’s unique.
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