Daria Bilodid, Ukraine’s 18-year-old world champion in the under-48 kilograms category, earned the first judo gold of the Games here today by defeating Russian rival Irina Dolgova.
That meant Bilodid – who became the youngest world judo champion at the age of 17 – also reclaimed her European title from Dolgova, as the judo here, like the boxing, incorporates the sport’s individual European Championships.
Judo is also one of eight sports in which performances count, to a greater or lesser degree, on the pathway to Tokyo 2020.
Kosovo had a great day in the judo at Chizhovka Arena with golds going to Rio 2016 champion Majlinda Kelmendi in the under-52kg class – following victory over Russia’s Natalia Kuziutina – and Nora Kjakova, who retained her European title in the under-73kg class by beating Daria Mezhetskaia of Russia.
Georgia’s Lukhumi Chkhvimiani became the first male judo champion at Minsk 2019, defeating Spain’s Francisco Garrigos in the under-60kg category.
The champion’s compatriot, Amiran Papinashvili, grabbed one of the two bronzes on offer, beating Germany’s Moritz Plafky, while the other bronze went to Belgium’s Jorre Verstraeten, who beat Walide Khyar of France.
Georgii Zantaraia of Ukraine took gold in the men’s under-66kg class.
The 32-year-old beat Italy’s Matteo Medves.
Bronzes went to Pavel Petrikov of the Czech Republic, who saw off Georgia’s Bagrati Niniashvili, and Denis Vieru of Romania, who defeated Georgia’s Vazha Margvelashvili.