Italy’s Carolina Costa claimed gold for hosts Italy at the 2019 International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) Judo European Championships in Genova on Saturday (27 July).
Costa took on Azerbaijan’s Dursadaf Karimova in the gold medal match, which she won by default after Karimova picked up three shido.
Both athletes were penalised early on for being too passive. However it was a third and final warning for the Azeri judoka for taking too long to get into position at the re-start that signalled the end of the match.
It was Costa’s second appearance on a major podium having also collected bronze at last year’s IBSA Judo World Championships.
"It is an indescribable joy", Costa said. "Winning the European championship in Italy has an even better taste. I was very tense because I fought in front of so many friends and relatives who came to Genova for me.
“Tokyo 2020? I don't hide, I want the Paralympics and slowly I start to see the summit".
Anastaciia Harynk secured bronze for Ukraine alongside Turkey’s Mesme Tasbag.
Russia’s Abdula Kuramagomedov delivered the shock of the season so far in the men’s up to 100kg, beating Georgian world champion Zviad Gogotchuri.
Going into the fight Gogotchuri was unbeaten in either the up to 90kg or his current weight category, which he switched to after winning gold at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
The Georgian, wary of Kuramagomedov’s abilities and taller frame, tried to end the fight quickly from the start but the Russian resisted.
It was a mistake from Gogotchuri, kneeling into a throw, that led to Kuramagomedov turning him over for what was originally given as a wazari but was then changed to an ippon on review.
Great Britain’s defending champion Christopher Skelley took bronze this time around. He shared the podium with Azerbaijan’s Kanan Abdullakhanli.
Georgia did however get to the top step in the men’s over 100kg. Revaz Chikoidze took on Azerbaijan’s multiple medallist Ilham Zakiyev in a match that pitched an experienced champion against one in the ascendancy.
Chikoidze, competing in his only his third competition having made his debut at the IBSA Judo Grand Prix in May, felled the towering Zakiyev and held him for ippon to take gold.
It was the Georgian’s second gold in three weeks having also taken the win at the Tokyo 2020 International Qualifier in Fort Wayne, USA, earlier in July.
Russia’s Gaidar Gaidarov rounded off the podium with Great Britain’s Jack Hodgson.
Khanim Huseynova took Azerbaijan’s first gold of the competition in the women’s up to 63kg.
It took her just a few seconds to overturn Russia’s Worlds bronze medallist Olga Pozdnysheva to retain her European title.
Sweden’s Nicolina Pernheim was delighted with her bronze medal, her second podium finish of the month having also finished third in Fort Wayne. USA. Turkey’s Duygu Cete Artar also took home a bronze.
Turkey’s Raziye Ulucam won her first major international title in the women’s up to 70kg.
Ulucam faced Russian European champion Olga Zabrodskaia, successfully putting her on her back for gold.
Croatia’s Lucija Breskovic and Russia’s Elena Popova were the bronze medallists.
Russia’s Ruslan Albagachiev emerged the victor from an all-Russian face off in the men’s up to 81kg.
Quickly achieving an ippon over 2017 bronze medallist Shamil Magomedov, it was Albagachiev’s first major international title having debuted in 2018.
Azerbaijan’s Huseyn Rahimli, a World Championships silver medallist, collected bronze. Ukraine’s Dmytro Solovey joined him on the podium.
Ukrainian world champion and Paralympic silver medallist Oleksandr Nazarenko ground out two wazari to win his men’s up to 90kg fight against France’s Helios Latchoumanaya.
Great Britain’s Elliot Stewart delivered a beautiful throw for ippon for bronze against Russia’s Vladimir Fedin. Germany’s Marc Milano was also third.
Full results are available at www.ippon.org
The final day of action on Sunday will see countries go for gold in the mixed team. The event is being showcased for only the second time having made its debut in Fort Wayne.
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The 2019 IBSA Judo European Championships run from 26-28 July and feature around 130 athletes from 18 countries.
Live coverage is being shown at IBSA’s YouTube channel and IBSA Judo’s Facebook page.