The spectacular Karate competition at the 2019 European Games finished today in Minsk (Belarus) with a thrilling final day of action. Bettina Plank of Austria, Ivet Goranova of Bulgaria, Anita Serogina and Stanislav Horuna of Ukraine, Kalvis Kalnins of Latvia, and Luca Maresca of Italy were the big winners today as they took the last gold medals at stake.
Austria’s Bettina Plank produced one of the biggest upsets of the day with her victory in Female Kumite -55kg. The current European Championships runner-up defeated top favorite Serap Ozcelik of Turkey 5-1 in an intense final bout.
Plank, who lost the final of the European Games four years ago in Baku against Ozcelik took the lead with an early “Yuko”. Even though Ozcelik put the 1-1 soon after with another “Yuko”, the Austrian top karateka had an outstanding end of the bout with one more “Yuko” and a late “Ippon” to take the bout and the title.
“This is a dream for me. When you finally have this gold medal around your neck, it is amazing. The European Games is the most important competition for us this first part of the year, so it’s been amazing for us to reach this goal,” said Bettina Plank.
IVET GORANOVA SURPRISES IN FEMALE KUMITE -55KG
The wave of surprises continued in the final of Female Kumite -55kg. Underdog Ivet Goranova upset top favorite Anzhelika Terliuga of Ukraine so to become the new European Games champion.
With less than two minutes to the end of the final bout, Ivet Goranova got the advantage of “Senshu” or first point with a punch action (“Yuko”). Anzhelika Terliuga showed her trade-mark abilities and scored an impressive “Ippon” by “Mawashi geri” kick. Then, the Bulgarian karateka who is ranked 12th in WKF World ranking recovered once again the lead after taking a forceful “Ippon” by leg sweep. Despite Terliuga’s attempts, Goranova maintained the advantage and won the bout 4-3.
“It was my dream to get a gold medal here and I managed to take it. This tournament is the big event before the Olympic Games in Tokyo next year, and I am really happy that I could be part of the Minsk 2019 European Games,” said Ivet Goranova.
Check out all the winners by weight categories from Minsk HERE.