Two days after the completion of world champion, one of the host cities of the FIFA world Cup, Yekaterinburg, meets bright scorching sun. A little over a month ago, the Urals, the millionaire took the Egyptians and the Uruguayans, and later the world Champions of Frenchmen and beloved public Peruvians, Japanese, Mexicans, Swedes – in a word, fans from all continents and parts of the world.
Photo: judo.ru (Federation of Judo of Russia)
And while in Moscow Sheremetyevo queues at the departure halls in Yekaterinburg “Koltsovo” with increasing volume in the tape, baggage claim had the English recitative. The reply was simple welcoming smiles of the volunteers.
Breathing a small breath of air after the football tournament, like Yekaterinburg, said: “the Show must go on”. Not allowed to take a break for idleness – a team championship of Europe on judo for the first time held under a mixed system in which the national team are three men and three women.
Hall of one of the Central hotels in the city has been gradually recovering. The residence of the participants stayed near the door of the conference room and peered into the lists of athletes competitor countries. Of course, the coaches knew in advance who we are going to fight, but for some reason every time I slowed down the step in front of the stand filled with names from twenty one countries.
The main managers of each team warmly met each other and about something briskly talked. But as soon as a countdown reached zero, there was dead silence and only the Ukrainian delegation for a second somehow perked up when Serbs were “sent” to the fourth “basket” (the team was in the second, along with Russia).
The draw was held at the standard for judo system: the teams were divided to 4 groups. But the main difference, for example, from mesh football world Cup began in struggle for “bronze”. So, in the quarterfinals, the losing teams fight among themselves for the right to hold a meeting for the third place. In other words, if such a system was used at the world Cup in 2018, after losing to Croatia team Cherchesov has met with the Swedes (off quarter), and if you win in this game would have competed for third place with the winner of the match Uruguay-Brazil (the loser in the 1/4 finals the other part of the mesh). Another bronze was also won and the winner of pair Belgium – England (not finalist).
On team championship of Europe on judo in the group with the Russian team got Hungary, Portugal, Ukraine and the Czech Republic. The first match of Russian national team was against the winner of the Ukraine – Hungary.
“We have strong rivals, but we are ready on 100% and will fight for the first place with any competitors. Making predictions is hard, because the holding of such
format – the first experience in the world. Let’s wait for the finals,” began the head coach of Russian national team Ezio Gamba.
“Can someone explain why he decided to carry out such mixed competition? This influences of feminism that you?” – suddenly blurted out a colleague from the local media. The answer was given by the head of the European judo Union Sergei Soloveichik: “Feminism is not to blame. The international judo Federation won the right introduction to one of the most spectacular disciplines in team competitions. The international Olympic Committee has decided not to conduct separate tournaments for men and women, organizing them is mixed martial arts”.
The word was picked up by Olympic medalist summer Games in London Ivan Nifontov: “This format is an interesting experience. There are strange, which is well developed either female or male judo. But to win in the mixed team tournament need a happy medium. We have a great, balanced team, which I hope will prove best not only in Europe but in the world.”
Head coaches again raspustila warm embrace, but the next morning on the Mat at each of the team had a difficult fight with rivals.
Morning routine day in DIVS “Uralochka” started dancing “bear-judo”. Someone even joked: “After the world Cup, finally returned to the animals in their usual place on the Central streets of cities.” And yet the residents of Yekaterinburg and threatened: moonwalk performed dressed in a kimono the bear-mascot.
However, the day really seemed somehow special. Despite the competitions in a work environment, a solid group of fans crowded around the entrance.
“ROS-si-ya!”, – coming from the nearly filled stands. Miss there luck our team was impossible. In the victorious battles, the audience burst into cheers.
The first two games, Russia – Ukraine and Russia – Czech Republic, were like as planned by the head coach Ezio Gamba: our team was put rivals on the back, often earned the highest score in judo – IPPON. “4:0”, – double-flashed on the scoreboard. However, meeting in the semifinals with Germany, this rainbow was not there. After two lost battles in the memory surfaced Belgian (football) comeback. Released on the Mat Alena Prokopenko important point the team brought in, but neither he Halmurzaev nor Ksenia Chibisova Germans overcame. The final score – 1:4, sent the national team of Russia in the small final.
“I don’t think the absence of Russia’s gold medals today – a lot of distress, because those are the guys that will participate in the world Cup are here. And for coaches the main goal – the Olympic games, going to the strongest judoists. Therefore, there are not enough medals at world and European Championships is a little restrained myself, realizing that the most important “gold” at the Olympics. The tournament in Yekaterinburg in the first test of the federations before Tokyo 2020. And I am pleased with not only the new format, but organization”, – shared his impressions of the President of the European judo Union Sergei Soloveichik. Agreed with the statesman and President of the ROC Stanislav Pozdnyakov: “it is Always said that the organization of the competition in Russia is commendable, Yekaterinburg was the proof. Assessment of the performance should give the experts, but I feel that today our team looked good. Of course, it is very important that after two years, she did well in Tokyo.”
That was the audience. An impressive opening ceremony bright lights and laser performance even reminded of the Olympic games. No wonder all this tournament is considered a dress rehearsal for the Games-2020. Rehearsal, in which Russia was left without medals. In the match for third place she confidently beat the team of Azerbaijan on the scoreboard for the third time flashed a very nice 4:0.
“Not counting the semifinals, we were fighting at 100%. Don’t know what happened to us in the match with the Germans. The first fight did not work, the second – and lost. I was adjusted on “gold”. Maybe arrogance prevented properly tuned. Well, that did not remain without medals”, – summed up after the match he Halmurzaev.
“Unpleasant, that is not ranked first, but this is a new format, I hope, could give a holiday to Yekaterinburg,” – said Musa Mogushkov.
Coach the result was not amused: “the Result is good, but not perfect. With Germany, we made a few mistakes: thought Konkin win. Yartsev was better than his opponent, Halmurzaev – three times stronger than the opponent, their failures – big surprise. The only thing is judo. It is important that we are on the podium, in the top group. And third place is not the outcome we had hoped for”.
The words of the Russian mentor has sometimes been difficult because of the cheering in the background of the Germans (in the final defeated Germany goes into the semi-finals we lost to the champion), came and happy speech of athletes from Holland (they took silver), and only dancing bear in the morning-judo, exhausted, fell asleep, without waiting for the ceremony.
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