April 26 - France has enjoyed a golden day on home soil as a buoyant crowd lapped up the success of their men and women on day three of the European Judo Championships.
Heavyweight Teddy Riner took his fourth European title in a face-off with Georgia's Adam Okruashvili, a repeat of last year's final.
Okruashvili already had two shidos when the Frenchman threw him for ippon with one minute to go in the match.
"It always a pleasure to compete at home and it is nice to come back after eight months of absence," said Olympic and world champion Riner after his win at the Park & Suites Arena in Montpellier.
"But there is still a lot to do.
"I didn't feel like I was so strong today, my judo is still lacking dynamic and my physical condition is still lacking."
Andre Breitbarth of Germany narrowly defeated Slovenian Matjaz Ceraj for bronze in the men's over 100kg division.
Audrey Tcheumeo, another French victor, secured the women's under 78kg title, beating Marhinde Verkerk of the Netherlands.
"I like to compete at home, the French audience gives me a lot of power," she said.
"This is just the beginning, now I want to go on and do everything to win the world title again."
European Champion Lucie Louette of France and Abigel Joo of Hungary collected bronze.
In the women's over 78kg category, Emilie Andeol prevailed over Larisa Ceric of Bosnia and Herzegovina by penalties to claim her first European title, and France's third gold of the day.
After her win she said: "This is really the most beautiful day of my life and I'll never forget it."
Germans Jasmin Kuelbs and Franziska Konitz picked up the bronze medals.
Ensuring it was not a French clean sweep in Montpellier, Varlam Liparteliani of Georgia won the under 90kg title after losing in the final last year, throwing opponent Kirill Vorprosov of Russia for yuko.
Alexandre Iddir of France and Krisztian Toth of Hungary shared bronze.
In the men's under 100kg category, defending champion Lukas Krpalek of Czech Republic needed to go into the golden score to overcome Cyrille Maret of France in the semi-final.
In the final, the Czech pinned his opponent Elmar Gasimovof of Azerbaijan to the ground to achieve ippon just seconds before the match ended.
Cyrille Maret of France and Russia's Adlan Bisultanov claimed the bronze medals.
With the individual competition in Montpellier now wrapped up, the team events will conclude the Championships tomorrow.
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