Lulu takes Cadet European bronze in her final year at this level

Sutton Coldfield’s Lulu Piovesana was the star of the show for British judo on day two of the European Cadet Championships in Greece.

The world cadet bronze medallist, from the Bishop Challoner club, added a European bronze medal in the -63kg category to her repertoire as she beat Hungary’s Renata Lorinc in the third-place contest by a single shido.

Piovesana began her campaign with an impressive win by ippon over Poland’s Stefania Kotwicka but had a tougher contest in the next round as she beat Montenegrin Ivana Sunjevic by waza-ari after both judokas had picked up two shidos apiece.

And shidos was the deciding factor again in the semi-final against Germany’s Lara Reimann but this time it was the Briton who lost out 3-1.

But disappointment turned to joy as she beat Lorinc to claim a place on the podium.

“I am feeling really happy right now. I fought well today and defeated a girl who has beat me before. It feels great to fight in the Olympic stadium and the next stop for me is the Youth Olympics in China so it is all very surreal. Thank you to everyone who has supported me.”

Matt Divall, GB leader for the event said: “I’m delighted, Lulu has been consistent this year, she won bronze in the Cadet Worlds last year and finished and started process to transition onto the junior squad with a bronze in June in Austria. It is a big jump next year. As for the others the European Championships are hard but everyone is capable of beating the players who are medalling. Mistakes can cost but these are the early stages.”

Also in the -63kg category, Metro’s Acelya Toprak beat Moldova’s Iana Matveiciuc by ippon in her opening contest.

But the Ealing judoka then lost by the same method to Michaela Polleres of Austria and she went into the repechage.

The repechage began well for Toprak as she beat Bosnia’s Teodora Bozovic and then Russia’s Anastasiya Kolyadenkova both by one shido each time.

But her competition ended with an ippon defeat by Renata Lorinc of Hungary and settled for
seventh place.

Scotsman Stuart McWatt (-73kg) produce two impressive wins by waza-ari over Estonia’s Aslanbeg Pujhm and then Georgia’s Simon Marmadashvili.

But the Garioch club man from Inverurie then lost by ippon to Slovenia’s Martin Hojak to miss out on the pool final and instead dropped into the repechage where he was edged out 2-1 on shidos by Itay’s Leonardo Casaglua to end up ninth overall.

Glossop man Eric Ham (-66kg) who trains at the Centre of Excellence in Walsall, also started well with wins by ippon over Balazs Hadaro of Hungary and Razvan Adrian Ciolan of Romania.
But he then lost a tight contest against Russia’s Ismail Chasygov by a single yuko to miss out on the pool final.

That saw Ham go into the repechage where he lost by waza-ari to Bulgaria’s Ivan Bishkarov and finished ninth.

Lanina Solley (-52kg) lost out to Julie Kemmink of Netherlands by ippon in her final fight and settled for ninth place. Earlier she also lost to Betina Temelkova of Bulgaria.

There was an early exit for Coventry judoka Chelsie Giles (-52kg) as she lost to Hungary’s Luca Polgar in her first contest.

Words by John Smith.