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Three finals but only one gold medal for Turkey

                                Montreux, 21 MAY 2016

The presence of Turkey in three of the four current finals, the "failure" of three of the four title holders to maintain their dominance, but also the fact that none of the athletes who qualified for the Rio 2016 through Olympic Ranking was able to win the gold medal in the category of -80kg, were just some of what happened in Montreux, Switzerland in the third day of the 22th European Championship.
Turkey had the chance to win three gold medals and effectively to ensure the first place in the overall medal standings from today. But among the candidates for the gold, only Irem Yaman (-62kg) managed to find herself on the highest step of the podium, taking the lead by Nina Klay (SUI) that after the completion of the European Championship announced her withdrawal from taekwondo.
As for Aaron Cook (MDA), Lutalo Muhammad (GBR), Albert Gaun (RUS) and Tahir Gulec (GER) who have secured their qualification for the Rio Olympic Games through Olympic Rankings, they all failed to secure the gold medal. Instead, at the top was the Milad Beigi Harchegani (AZE) who got the qualification for Brazil through European Qualification Tournament in Turkey.
Montreux proved a jinx for the three European champions of 2014, since none of them succeeded to maintain the ir crown. Klay, in his last international tournament reached the quarter-finals of the -62kg, as did Anastasiia Baryshnikova (RUS) in the -67kg, while Aaron Cook was third in the -80kg. In the same category also competed Albert Gaun (RUS) who was first in -74kg of Baku 2014.

Further information:
In -62kg, Irem Yaman was the World Ranking No.-1 and this was confirmed in Montreux. After the gold medal in Chelyabinsk 2015, she won the first place in the European Championship in Switzerland by winning 5-0 against Magda Wiet Henin (FRA). In the third position of the podium were Daniela Rotolo (ITA) and Rabia Gulec (GER). Culec, who was third in Baku 2014, in the summer will be present at the Rio Olympics, a position secured through the Qualification Tournament.
In -67kg, unknown until a few hours ago, Lauren Williams (GBR) succeeded to win the gold medal. Although the ranking (No-166) is not a foreshadowed road to gold, she scored four victories in the semis (among them against ranked No-2 Elin Johansson from Sweden), while in the final she beat in golden point (4- 3) Nur Tatar (TUR), second in 2012 at the London Olympics. Although she could not be found at the top of her category, Tatar with the silver medal she won has now reached four in total in the European Women's Championships, namely one gold (2012), two silver (2010, 2016) and one bronze (2014). In third place in the -67 kg was Matea Jelic (CRO) and the No-1 in the World Rankings, second in 2014 in Baku, Haby Niare (FRA).
In -74kg, Portugal celebrated their second gold medal in Montreux 2016. The No-1 World Ranking, Juio Ferreira, defeated 5-3 Toni Kanaet (CRO) in the final and was crowned a European champion for the first time in his career. The third place was taken by both Nicholas Corten (BEL) and Claudio Treviso (ITA).
In -80 kg, Milad Beigi Harchegani (AZE) tripled this year's victories against Yunu Sari (TUR). After he cut Sari`s way for the Rio Olympics (10-1 in the semifinal of the Qualification Tournament), and the gold medal in the final of World President's Cup (12-4), he also beat him in the final of Montreux 2016 by 5-0. Harchegani in the semifinals defeated the European champion of 2014 in Baku and No-2 in the World Ranking, Aaron Cook (MDA) by 1-0, while in the quarterfinals he prevailed by 1-0 in golden point against the European champion of 2014 in Baku in the category of - 74kg, Albert Gaun. With the medal he got in Montreux, Cook reached four (3-0-1) in the history of the games and the third under a different flag (Great Britain, Isle of Man, Moldavia).

Finals & Winners of Day 3
Female-A -62 kg
FINAL: Yaman, Irem-Wiet Henin, Magda 5-0
1. Yaman, Irem (TUR)
2. Wiet Henin, Magda (FRA)
3. Rotolo, Daniela (ITA)
3. Gulec, Rabia (GER)
Female-A -67 kg
FINAL: Tatar, Nur-Williams, Lauren 3-4 Golden point
1. Williams, Lauren (GBR)
2. Tatar, Nur (TUR)
3. Jelic, Matea (CRO)
3. Niare, Haby (FRA)
Male-A -74 kg
FINAL: Ferreira, Julio-Kanaet, Toni 5-3
1. Ferreira, Julio (POR)
2. Kanaet, Toni (CRO)
3. Corten, Nicholas (BEL)
3. Treviso, Claudio (ITA)
Male-A -80 kg
FINAL: Sari, Yunus-Beigi Harchegani, Milad 0-5
1. Beigi Harchegani, Milad (AZE)
2. Sari, Yunus (TUR)
3. Cook, Aaron (MDA)
3. Pazinski, Piotr (POL)
MEDAL STANDINGS (after 3rd day)
TURKEY 2-2-2, BELGIUM 2-0-2, GREAT BRITAIN 2-0-1, PORTUGAL 2-0-0, AZERBAIJAN 1-1-0, RUSSIA 1-0-5, UKRAINE 1-0-0, SERBIA 1-0-0, SPAIN 0-2-1, FRANCE 0-1-4, CROATIA 0-1-3, GERMANY 0-1-1, POLAND 0-1-1, SWEDEN 0-1-0, ISRAEL 0-1-0, SLOVENIA 0-1-0, ITALY 0-0-2, ARMENIA 0-0-1, MOLDOVA 0-0-1
Yamam Irem: “I am really excited for my succeed and winning the gold medal, it is hard to explain but I am really happy for this since is my first gold medal in Senior European Championships and it is so important for me. Sure one of the best things that ever happened to me especially because I feel like my efforts are paid and now I will keep on practising hard”.
Ferreira Julio: “Winning the gold medal after a hard game in the finals, is one of the greatest feelings definitely. It was difficult I got tired but in the end I achieved my goal and now I can feel exactly what happened. It is amazing I am really happy”.
Kanaet Toni: “I am happy for my silver medal but I could be better during the final and get the first place but this will make me even better and in the future I will do even more my best and I will continue trying so I will be able to achieve even more”.


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