We were treated to some amazing action as 50 of our sand superstars from 12 nations wowed the spectators with displays of superhuman strength, impressive technique and outstanding balance with the music providing those proper beach vibes. The day had started slightly overcast but come show time the skies cleared showing that even the sun couldn’t wait to see who would come out on top as the sand started to fly at the greatest show on sand.
With only two entrants to the women’s -50KG division, Stefania PRICEPUTU (ROU) and Cristina ANDUJAR OJEDA (ESP) advance straight to the final match tomorrow, so our roundup starts in the women’s -60kg division where Iryna CHYKHRADZE (UKR), who had breezed through the competition in the first leg of the series, lost her opening match to compatriot Daria MEDVETSKA. The home sand fans were treated with victory for Maria BAEZ DILONE (ESP) over Lilou DUPINAY of France to get her leg off to a great start.
Another gold medallist from Sarigerme, Romania’s Adina IRIMIA (-70kg), also lost her opening match as she lost to Hatice TEKIN (TUR) who herself had claimed Bronze last time out and things went from bad to worse for IRIMIA as she lost her second match to Ukrainian Yuliia KREMEZNA MALYK. TEKIN for her part made it two wins from two bouts as she wasted no time in disposing of Angela PIRES GONCALVES (POR), taking just 56 seconds to take all 3 points to seal her place in the finals tomorrow, where she will be joined by KREMEZNA MALYK, who as well as defeating IRIMIA had won her opening match against PIRES GONCALVES. In the other half of the draw Lydia PEREZ TOURINO (ESP) picked up two wins, first beating Olena NIKITINSKA (UKR) and then Sonia PEREIRA BRAZIO (POR), Agoro PAPAVASILEIOU (GRE) and Olena NIKITINSKA (UKR) both managed to pick up a win each in their first two group matches to give them both a good chance of making the finals.
Current +70kg World Champion Catalina AXENTE (ROU) had been in great form coming into this event, having added another gold to her collection in Turkey and she wasted little time in getting her second leg off to a winning start against PAVLOVETSTYCHYNA (UKR) but much to the delight of the home sand crowd, lost in sensational style in her second round match as she was driven into the sand by Cora AYUDE (ESP) after only 7 seconds on the Spaniard’s debut in the Series. There were also wins for Stefania ZACHEILA (GRE) and Noelia LALIN CANDA (ESP).
Over in the men’s divisions it was business as usual for Levan KELEKHSASHVILI (GEO, -70KG) as the back-to-back World Champion won his opening two matches, beating American debutant Mitchell COOK in his first match before beating Marwane YEZZA (FRA). In the other half of the draw Ramiz HASANOV (AZE) kept up his fine form from the 1st leg with two wins of his own over Carlos ALVAREZ IGLESIAS (ESP) and Clement GONZALES (FRA) as he joined KELEKHSASHVILI in the finals tomorrow.
In the -80KG category the impressive Omid KAMALIAGHDAM (AZE) continued his quest for World Series gold with two wins to open his second leg, not losing a single point as he put Pablo GARCIA (ESP) and Yvan GUIADEM KAMDEM (FRA) to the sword to cement his place in the finals. Gold medallist from Turkey Nika KENCHADZE (GEO) got off to a good start with an opening round win but lost his second to Mohammad MOTTAGHINIA (ESP) who wasted no time in thrilling the watching crowd by defeating KENCHADZE within the opening minute.
-80KG World Champion Davit KHUTSISHVILI (GEO) had moved up to the -90KG division at the start of this Series and found it tough in Turkey where he failed to exit the group stages, but he fared much better on Silgar Beach and won his opening two bouts, defeating Ibrahim YUSUBOV (AZE) on a tie-breaker after the bout finished 0-0, but KHUTSISHVILI took the victory courtesy of being the lighter of the two, and then recorded a win over fellow Georgian Dato PIRUZASHVILI. YUSUBOV dusted himself down from the tie-break disappointment to get his first win of the leg as he defeated David Antonio HERNANDEZ ARTEAGA (ESP). Dato PIRUZASHVILI also kept his hopes alive with a win over Mathis Damien Leon MAYRAND (FRA).
With Oyan NAZARIANI (AZE) out injured all eyes were on World Champion Mamuka KORDZAIA (GEO) in the +90KG division after he suffered a shock defeat last time only claiming a bronze as Fatih YASARLI (TUR) came out on top in Turkey but he showed a champion’s mentality to defeat YASARLI in the opening match of this leg of the Series and then made it two wins from two as he handed Samba DIONG (FRA) his second defeat of the day, the Frenchman having lost out to Carlos ACEBRON HOLGADO (ESP) in his first bout. YASARLI bounced back from his opening defeat to put a victory of his own on the board with a win over HOLGADO to keep him on the path for the gold medal match.
It’s been a great opening day here in Sanxenxo and we can’t wait for tomorrow to see who our Spanish Kings and Queens of the sand will be. Join us from 10am tomorrow to find out who will take home the gold on finals day!