Ukraine’s Inna Cherniak won gold in the women’s under 57kg event on day two of the 2015 International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) European Judo Championships on Saturday 28 November in Odivelas, Portugal. In doing so, the World No.1 added a European Championship title to the gold that she won at June's European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan.
It caps an impressive season for Cherniak, who also came very close to gold at the IBSA World Games in Seoul, South Korea. But she lost in the final to South Korea’s Ha Na Seo.
In Odivelas, Cherniak cruised through the competition, requiring only 40 seconds to secure ippon (the highest score a judoka can earn) in the quarter-final and just 33 seconds in the semi-final. The gold-medal match against Azerbaijan’s Sabina Abdullayeva then proved a tougher bout before Cherniak secured victory with a submission hold.
Strong showing from Ukraine
Inniak’s victory epitomised a strong team performance from the Ukrainian squad. On Saturday, Ukrainian judokas won three of the six available golds.
Inniak’s teammate Irina Husieva won gold in the women’s under 63kg category round robin. The World No.1 finished undefeated after quickly pinning Sweden’s Nicolina Pernheim to the mat in the final match.
Ukraine’s other title came in the men’s under 81kg competition, where favourite Olexander Kosinov beat Rovshan Safarov of Azerbaijan by ippon to win gold.
But Ukraine’s reigning Paralympic champion Dmytro Solovey did not fare as well in the men’s under 73kg category. Solovey was quickly overwhelmed by Azerbaijan’s Ramil Gasimov in the final.
Gold for Gogotchuri
Georgia’s Zviad Gogotchuri further underlined his intention to challenge for men’s under 90kg gold at Rio 2016. Gogotchuri beat Great Britain’s London 2012 silver medallist Sam Ingram in the semi-final before getting the better of the Ukrainian top seed Oleksandr Nazarenko in the final.
In the women’s under 70kg round robin, Russia’s Tatiana Savostyanova took the title by winning all three bouts.
The European Judo Championships 2015 concludes Sunday (29 November) with the team competitions.
Day one recap can be found here.