Kosovo win first Mediterranean Games gold medals with judo victories

Kosovo have arrived at these Mediterranean Games in style with two gold medals in judo.

Distria Krasniqi defeated Odette Giufridda of Italy in the under-52 kilograms and her triumph was followed half-an-hour later by European champion Nora Gjakova, who defeated Miriam Boi of Italy in the under-57kg class for a second title

Host nation Spain also won two gold medals - Francisco Garrigos in the men’s under-60 kg and Julia Figueroa in the under-48 kg

The first gold in athletics went to 2015 World Championship bronze medallist Alexandra Tavernier of France.

She set out her stall from the very start in the women’s hammer with an opening throw of 73.67 metres. 

It was the only mark she recorded but it was enough.

Kıvılcım Kaya Salman of Turkey was second and another French competitor Camille Sainte Luce was third.

Morocco’s 2017 World Championship silver medallist Souffiane El Bakkali dominated the men’s 3,000 metres steeplechase to win the first gold medal on the track.

He had made a break away and led at the bell and crossed the line in 8min 20.99sc and immediately fell to his knees in celebration.

Amor Ben Yahia of Tunisia was second and Italian Yohannes Chiapinelli took the bronze medal.

The men’s 5,000m proved very cagey until the closing stages as the Moroccans came through at the end.

Youness Elsalhi won in 13:56.13 from compatriot Soufiyan Bouqantar, with Italy’s Ethiopian-born Yemaneberhan Crippa third.

In the men’s shot put, there was gold and bronze for Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

Hamza Alić threw a season’s best 20.43m on his final throw to make sure of the gold medal at the age of 39.

Croatia’s Stipe Žunić took silver ahead of Mesud Pezer.

Ivana Španović of Serbia won the women’s long jump with 7.04m. 

It was enough for gold ahead of the two Spaniards Juliet Itoya-Ebhomhenye and Fatima Diame Diame

It was an excellent day for Turkey’s women in freestyle wrestling with Evin Dermirhan winning gold in the 50kg followed by Bediha Gün in the 57kg, Elif Jale Yeşilırmak in the 62 kg and Buse Tosun in the 68kg.

LIdia Valentin, meanwhile, became the third of the big Spanish Olympic stars to deliver at these Games. 

The London 2012 champion won double gold in the women's 75kg women’s weightlifting.

"These have been great Games for me," Valentin said speaking in Catalan.

"I have felt very comfortable and to be at home in my own country felt very good.

"The result was good because I had been able to train well."

Valentin had already been centre stage when she took the oath on behalf of the athletes at last week's Opening Ceremony. 

She was dominant in the snatch, executing three clean lifts starting out at 105kg and improving to 112kg in a competition where none of her rivals lifted more than 98kg.

Valentin was followed home by Turkey’s Rabia Kaya and Dina Barakat of Egypt.

In the clean and jerk, Valentin only needed to lift twice. 

Her 137kg was more than enough to see off the field as the silver medal went to Gaelle Nayo of France with Barakat in bronze.

"The results here are recognition of the work you have done,"’ Spanish Olympic Committee President Alejandro Blanco told Valentin.

Autor: insidethegames