A Polish judoka fight that lasted as long as three duels. Interesting duels in the most spectacular judo event and Georgia’s gold medal.
The team judo competition at the European Games is the most important and biggest event of 2023. The old continent championships were also held as part of the competition. Twenty-two countries, including Poland, Israel, the Netherlands, and Georgia, France, Portugal, the best of the European countries, competed. Three women and three men are competing in team judo. The national teams compete in weight categories, the one that scores four points first will win. When there is a 3:3 tie, a draw is made as to which categories will compete against each other for victory.
In the first round, the Czechs, Serbs, Lithuanians, Spaniards and Ukrainians fell out. In the 1/16, the Poles faced Hungary. They managed to win only one duel. Kacper Szczurowski defeated Peter Sfarny. The decisive fight was that of Julia Kowalczyk. The Pole, together with Roza Gyertyas, made a great advertisement for team judo. The duel lasted 12 minutes, as long as the regulation three fights. The Hungarian representative was on top, who, probably with her last strength, managed to counter Kowalczyk’s attempted overthrow and scored an ippon.
– At the end, I looked at my watch and thought I was starting my third fight in a row. I don’t know if I have ever been given the opportunity to duel for so long. I felt the pressure, because I knew that only a win would make us medal chances. I lost because I ran out of strength at the end,” concluded Kowalczyk.
Georgia won double prize
From the repechage, France and the Netherlands fought for bronze. Quite unexpectedly, the French finished the tournament without a medal. The Italians also finished on the lowest place of the podium, beating Portugal. The gold was fought for by Georgia against Germany. The Georgians could count on the support of their country’s Deputy Prime Minister. The Germans fielded a young squad, full of players who were playing at such a big event for the first time. The Georgians had Olympic champions and vice-champions in their line-up. Georgia led 3:0, but in the fourth key bout Miriam Butkereit defeated Eter Askilashvili. The winner was the experience of the 29-year-old, who at the previous European Games, finished ninth in the team competition. The gold was given to Georgian Lasha Bekauri. He defeated Martin Matijas in the fourth bout. In addition to the European Games medal, the Georgians became European team champions