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                                Montreux, 22 MAY 2016

Τhe curtain of the 22th European Championship in Montreux, Switzerland was dropped, seeing Bianca Walkden, Iva Rados and Arman-Marshall Silla to maintain the lead in their categories, while Great Britain conquered the first place in the medals table. This was the last notable event before the Rio Olympics, where European taekwondo will be represented by 42 athletes in order to maintain or increase the medal conquest rates (reached nearly 51% in London) on account of the "old world".

Iva Rados (CRO) defeated in the final holder of gold Olympic medal in London, Milica Mandic (SRB), as was the case two years ago in Baku, and she stood on the first place of the podium for the second consecutive event. In the semifinal of the -73kg Rados defeated Reshmie Oogink (who had already gotten the qualification for Rio), while in the final he prevailed by 1-0 against Mandic. Third place was scooped by Petra Matjasevic (MKD) and Reshmie Oogink (NED).

At 73 kg category, Bianca Walkden (GBR) confirmed the predictions about her being the preponderant favorite for the gold medal. Walden, who became only the second Brit to win a gold medal in the World Championships last year, defeated 5-4 Nafia Kus (TUR) in the final. Walkden, along with the gold medal in Montreux, managed to make it three in the European championships since she was first in Baku 2014 and third in St. Petersburg in 2010. Take into account that Walkden had beaten Kus in the semifinal of World Championships 2015 in Chelyabinsk as well. The third place was assumed by Olga Ivanova (RUS) and Rosanna Simon Alamo (ESP).
In men's -87kg category, the title went to Vladislav Larin, a senior student of the Institute of History, Political and Social Science and a holder of gold medal last year at the European Championships Olympic Categories at Nalchik. Larin prevailed in the final through a golden score (1-1) against Arman Yeremyan, who finally fought despite suffering from a leg injury. Drasko Jovanov (SRB) and Payam Ghobadi Oughaz (AZE) achieved third place.

The most exciting final of the day was the one between Arman-Marshall Silla (BLR) and Roman Kuznetsov (RUS). The Russian was found ahead even by 8-3 in the third round, but Silla was extraordinary in the very last minute. It was then when he gathered a total of eight points against two of his opponent, so for the second time since 2014 Baku he was able to win the gold medal of the + 87kg category. Bear in mind that Silla has already achieved qualification for the Rio Olympics through the Olympic Games Qualification Europe Tournament held last January in Turkey. The 3rd place was taken by Piotr Hatowski (POL) and Omar El Yazidi (FRA).
Great Britain was found at the top of the table of medals winning three gold ones and a bronze. Turkey followedsuit with two gold, three silver and two bronze medals, while Russia managed two gold, one silver and six bronze medals.

In the overall table of medals were found 22 countries, compared with 24 two years ago in Baku and 17 to 2012 in Manchester.
"The organization of Montreux excelled at every level. The organizing committee has accomplished the hard task assigned by the ETU. I assert that events at a high level such as this one, with excellent organization in all areas, raise the sport's prestige at a European level and help its further development. The television signal from Montreux was transmitted to most European countries-members through EBU and I feel great that we have given everyone the opportunity to witness highly spectacular taekwondo games. I am positive that the television ratings exceeded all our expectations. I hope the European taekwondo shines in a few months at the Rio Olympics and keeps up the tradition that has had all these years" said the president of the ETU, Thanasis Pragalos.
Honorary Distinctions

Fair play Award
Female: Lauren Williams GBR
Male: Mourad Laachraoui BEL
Most Valuable Players/Best Athlete
Best Female: Jade Jones GBR
Best Male: Jaouad Achab BEL

Best Referee
2. Asuman AKDEMIR (TUR)
3. Norbert BENKO (HUN)
4. Federico ZANETTE (ITA)
5. Vladimir BELOKAPOV (BUL)

Best Team Female
1. GBR
2. TUR
3. SRB

Best Team Male
1. BEL
2. POR
3. RUS

Best Team Overall
1. GBR
2. TUR
3. RUS

Finals & Winners of Day 4

Female-A -73 kg

FINAL: Mandic, Milica- Rados, Iva 0-1
1. Iva Rados (CRO)
2. Milica Mandic (SRB)
3. Petra Matjasevic (MKD)
3. Reshmie Oogink (NED)

Female-A +73 kg
FINAL: Walkden, Bianca-Kus, Nafia 5-4
1. Bianca Walkden (GBR)
2. Nafia Kus (TUR)
3. Olga Ivanova (RUS
3. Rosanna Simon Alamo (ESP)

Male-A -87 kg
FINAL: Yeremyan, Arman-Larin, Vladislav 0-1 golden point
1. Vladislav Larin (RUS)
2. Arman Yeremyan (ARM)
3. Drasko Jovanov (SRB)
3. Payam Ghobadi Oughaz (AZE)

Male-A +87 kg
FINAL: Kuznetsov, Roman - Silla, Arman-Marshall 10-11
1. Arman-Marshall Silla (BLR)
2. Roman Kuzentsov (RUS)
3. Piotr Hatowski (POL)
3. Omar El Yazidi (FRA)

MEDAL STANDINGS (after day 4)
GREAT BRITAIN 3-0-1, TURKEY 2-3-2, RUSSIA 2-1-6, BELGIUM 2-0-2, PORTUGAL 2-0-0, CROATIA 1-1-3, SERBIA 1-1-1, AZERBAIJAN 1-1-1, BELARUS 1-0-0, UKRAINE 1-0-0, SPAIN 0-2-2, FRANCE 0-1-5, POLAND 0-1-2, GERMANY 0-1-1, ARMENIA 0-1-1, SWEDEN 0-1-0, ISRAEL 0-1-0, SLOVENIA 0-1-0, ITALY 0-0-2, MOLDOVA 0-0-1, FYROM 0-0-1, NETHERLANDS 0-0-1.

Rados Iva (CRO): “I feel so emotional right now, I am extremely glad excited and happy and of course so proud of winning the gold medal in such an important final against Mandic. We know well each other and how she fights and my thought was I can do it and I will do it for the gold medal. As the game finished I had a wonderful feeling”.

Milica Mandic (SRB): “The final was really tough between me and Iva, she was good, the fight was good, but since I was not careful enough at a moment, she took advantage of it. Unfortunately, my mistake cost me the gold medal, but I keep looking the future and what I can do in order to have better performances through strong preparations “.

Walkden Bianca (GBR): “Definitely I feel honoured that I now hold the title of the European Taekwondo Champion and doing it again after the gold medal in Baku 2014. Regarding her future plans she stated: “My preparations are going really well for Olympic Games Rio 2014 and I keep trying improving myself, because when final was about to start, I got caught in a panic situation. So I want to work on this and give all my best”.

Larin Vladislav (RUS): “What I want to say is that I feel grateful to my family, my friends, the team it is so important to feel that people around me are supporting me and they are next to me in every step I do. This is the crucial reason for any success I have had and the most important is that it makes me feel happy and strong in everything I do. Now I will have some rest and relax, so when I will be back in action I will be completely ready for action”.

Yeremyan Arman (ARM): “It was a hard final, I had an injury on my knee but I tried the maximum I could. I really feel thankful to my coach and the whole team and for their advice, so when I walk in to the game I would fight with all my power”.

Silla Arman Marshall (BLR): “It was a very dramatic match, tough match with a strong opponent. It was unbelievable - I did my best and I think it was one of the most amazing fights. I already have experience in the games and championships and this is what actually helped me so much. I will keep fighting and working hard”.




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