French women fantastique, Russia on a roll on final day at European Judo Championships in Prague

Two more European titles on Day 3 rounded off an impressive competition for France as Russia's young gun Bashaev takes +100kg top honours

By Ken Browne

The 2020 European Judo Championships drew to a spectacular close in Prague on Saturday (21 November) with five heavyweight titles on the line.

There was a shock win for Israel's Peter Paltchik, while Germany and France took two titles each, as the French women took home 5/7 Euro 2020 titles just months away from Tokyo 2020.

Here's our round-up of the third and final day of an event which saw names like Odette Giuffrida, Orkhan Safarov, Clarisse Agbegnenou, Madeleine Malonga, Victor Sterpu, Romane Dicko and Mikhail Igolnikov all outperforming in Prague.

Bashaev beasts men's +100kg

Tamerlan Bashaev proved what a talent he is by winning an all-Russian +100kg final, the 24-year-old besting teammateInal Tasoev in a close-fought final in the empty stadium.

Bashaev took the fight with an ippon in golden score, capping off a very impressive tournament for him.

With double Olympic champion Teddy Riner absent, Rio 2016 -100kg gold medallist Lukas Krpalek was the great Czech hope to bring the perfect ending for the hosts in the final fight of the entire tournament.

But it was a disappointing day for the local hero as he fell at the semi final stage and then lost out in the repechage final to 2018 world champion Guram Tushishvili.

Georgia's Levan Matiashvili defeated 22-year-old Stephan Hegyi from Austria to share the third-place podium.

Dicko dominates women's +78kg

The women's heavyweight fight stuck somewhat to the script - a surprise in itself here in Prague - with 2018 European champion Romane Dicko and number one seed Iryna Kidzerska from Azerbaijan meeting in the final.

21-year-old Dicko grabbed the title with ippon after a powerful makikomi and a subsequent ten second hold.

Dicko was the only Frenchwoman in the +78kg draw, it meant five titles in three days for the French women who look in rude health just eight months out from the Olympics.

Portugal's Rochele Nunes let out an almighty roar after winning her third-place fight by penalty against Bosnian Larisa Ceric.

Ukraine's Yelyzaveta Kalanina overcame Germany's Jasmin Grabowski in the other repechage final.

Malonga masters women's -78kg

And there was more celebration for France in the -78kg final, Madeleine Malonga emerging victorious.

World champion Malonga and Luise Malzahn from Germany went head-to-head in the -78kg final, Malonga emerging victorious, overpowering Malzahn in the grip fight and forcing the German into conceeding three penalties.

Malonga looks recovered from a knee injury and made it count in the absence of her teammates four-time European gold medallist Audrey Tcheumeo and World Masters winner Fanny Estelle Posvite.

Watch out for the French in this category at Tokyo 2020, they won 5/7 titles at these continental championships.

Croatian judoka Karla Prodan won bronze after she was awarded a waza-ari on review in golden score and Kosovan Loriana Kuka took the other third-place title over Italy's Giorgia Stangherlin by three penalties to two.

Both judoka went into golden score with two penalties, but an illegal hold gave Kuka the win.

Paltchik stuns Adamian in Men's -100kg

Russia's defending champion Arman Adamianwas stunned by Israel's Peter Paltchik in the final, a bruising encounter that went to golden score and Paltchik managed to get that all-important point.

2019 world champion Jorge Fonseca from Portugal lost out in the semi finals but claimed a third place title over Varlam Liparteliani after three infringements from the Georgian.

Azerbaijan's Zelm Kotsoiev took the other spot on the third-place podium from Bulgarian veteran Georgi Georgiev.

Igolnikov in control of men's -90kg

Russian Mikhail Igolnikov claimed victory with an impressive ippon over Serbia's Nemanja Majdov in the men's -90kg final.

Igolnikov, 24, put himself firmly in the frame for an Olympic medal in this category with his consistently brilliant performances in Prague.

Out of three world champions Spain's Nikoloz Sherazadishvili (2018), Noel Van T End of the Netherlands (2019) and Nemanja Majdov of Serbia (2017) in the field, only Majdov made the final.

24-year-old Sherazadishvili lost in the semi-finals and couldn't take home a consolation from his repechage fight either, Georgia's Beka Gviniashvili taking the first bronze medal of the day by ippon with a hold.

Defending European champion from Minsk 2019 Mihael Zgank from Turkey looked favourite against Azerbaijan's Mammadali Mehdiyevtook, but it was the Azeri who took the other third place gong with an accomplished uchi-gari.

Catch up on what happened on days one and two here:

Day 1: Giuffrida and Safarov shine on Day 1 of 2020 European Championships

Day 2: Clarisse Agbegnenou storms to fifth European title in Prague


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