No matter if it is cadet, junior or senior, the mixed team event is always incredibly exciting and draws all of the athletes together to support their teams and be the loudest supporters in the arena.
Today was no different for the Junior European Championships 2021. The following nations entered very strong teams to be in with a chance to covet the mixed teams title; France, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine.
In the end it was Russia, Turkey, Georgia and France would battled in out in the semi finals.
Junior European silver medallist Faiza MODKAR took the first win for France, and the second came from Joan-Benjamin GABA. Bringing it back for team Georgia was Nino GULBANI who gave a strong performance and stole the third round win. The fourth was a golden score decided between the current junior European champion, Nika KHARAZISHVILI and the -90kg #1 seed in in the individual event, Maxime-Gael NGAYAP HAMBOU. With great attacks from both it was set to be a big finish despite both clearly exhausted from the previous day and a minute in to golden score, the Frenchman secured France’s third win. The overall match was decided by the +78kg silver medallist, Coraline HAYME in osaekomi.
France went to meet Turkey in the final and Georgia in to the bronze medal contest against the Netherlands. All teams rallied for the final head to head and created a memorable atmosphere for the finalists.
Joan-Benjamin GABA (FRA) and Umalt DEMIREL (TUR) opened the spectacle and a seoi nage from the French determined the outcome. Melodie TURPIN (FRA) was next to help her team to glory, locked together with Habibe AFYONLU, the Turkish athlete tried her best to defend but was unable to and ceded a waza ari score. Turpin transitioned to ne waza, first in to sangaku that Afyonlu managed to escape, but the movement was to her detriment, the French kept the arm for juji gatame.
To put it simply, France were unstoppable. Both Maxime-Gael NGAYAP HAMBOU and Lea FONTAINE won in their contests to make it a 4-0 defeat. France have already made history this year in the Olympic Games, taking the first mixed teams title and now their junior team have kept the ball rolling by taking the gold undefeated in the final round.
Source and image: www.eju.net