The Diamond Cup 2018 delivered a fully packed tournament that makes it stand stronger than ever. For sure the Diamond Cup are known for top level fighting from many years – but one do have to notice that the concept grows, more and more people are included… and that together with the quality!
With fifteen nations spread across the podium, the result describes how the diversity in the tournament is – and this makes the interest increase even further!
All parts involved should be very pleased after the event. as always, and in the best Shinkyokushin manners: something can always be better. maybe the weather ?! well..
The interest of the tournament has been great for a long time. Most likely because there were more fighters in the categories that we have not seen up against each others before, or have not seen fight so often. This falls back on the good inclusive attractiveness that this tournament provides. The organizer, Koen Spitaels Shihan with his team can take a well deserved break…but of course we all know that it would never happen!
Through the day many interesting fights was held, and the event ran smoothly. Considering the number of performers, and not least categories, it is impressive that everything was completed within the time that was used. The Kata Competition held a very good level, of course could one might say, when you see European champions and more in the line up! Reign European champion in the women`s division An Driesens-Polimeno stays at the top, and can add The Diamond Cup tittle to her merits. SEEN NSKO SUMMER-CAMP INSTRUCTORS 2018?
In the men`s division we had expectations for Cristian Boldut, Romania. But many very strong contenders was in the 24 men Kata category. Cristian Boldut did answer to the expectations – and not only in the Kata tournament. He also made it to the final in men middleweight, (vs Igor Lamot , Poland) and that was a very strong category. Gold in Kata and Silver in Kumite!
In the women heavyweight, a another European Champion was securing the top possession. Sara Hägge, Sweden climbed to the top – and that after being the runner up in 2014 and in 2016. In the seven nation category it is safe to say that many of the fights was very even. That includes the final. Russian power-fighter Anna Vishnyakova made Hägge go through a very hard first round – and when the decision came with two flags for Vishnyakova, one could almost feel the third one. But three flags to extra round, and from that the flags turned one after one together with the extensions to the last call that gave Hägge and Sweden the victory.
Sweden did a very good tournament. In the elite class, Kata and the junior category, they prove their eminent level. But this time they had a couple of unlucky incidents. Milad Samizade and Cecilia Wallin, both went out of the tournament with heavy hits to the head. This was unfortunate in several ways because under the rules, no one goes further in the tournament. And in this case one did not lose two – but four top performers. But even so that Wallin and Samizade went out this way, their level are proven.
In Wallin`s case she received a strong punch from Camile Haddouche, France. An unfortunate accident without a doubt because Haddouche is a top fighter technical and physical. This made an another top fighter stand alone in the final: Marta Lubos, Poland. Lubos back on track after a 8th month break, looking stronger and fresh as an lemon, taking one of the three gold medals Poland won this weekend. Marek Wolny and Igor Lamot took the two others. With those results did Poland top the list of most gold in the senior category Kumite. TKS Karate Tarnowskie Góry Team, Lubos Branch Poland⇓
In the lightest women category, did favorite Emma Marwell UK as expected and won the category. In this category we saw several good fighters, and many good fights. But it was no doubt that many of the fighters used to fight in the under 50 kg category had some hard rounds. The pace among fighters in this category is very entertaining – and impressing! The triple World vice champion Markwell as expected into first place, Violeta Litovska, Bulgaria on second, and third place this time also on Kimm Carriere, Canada. If not mistaken did she also take third place in 2016 – but in a higher weigh category. Hayley Beth Rowlands UK in to the other 3rd place.
In the lightest weight category for men, -65 kg, the category had been slimmed down from thirteen to nine fighters. That was unfortunate, because in that process some of the interesting fighters was gone. But that said, the heaviest favorites was still in. But the drama came between two of the strongest competitors, in their first fight. As previous mention Milad Samizade, Sweden went out of the tournament with a punch to the head, and the flip side of this was that the biggest favorite Andrei Zinchenko, Georgia also went out. So who could step up? Luckily French top fighter Anthony Senechal was good to go, and from Kazakhstan Aidyn Nurbossynov. Those two meet in the final, and once again Kazakhstan shows their eminent level of full contact fighting taking the win in the category. Team from Kazakhstan⇓
The middleweight was a really strong category, and to win the class Igor Lamot, Poland, had to fight five fights. Top four in this category was at a really good level. Lamot the strongest one this time, with previous mentioned Cristian Boldut, Romania in on second place. Lamot very strong coming in hard with strong combinations, against a movable Boldut. Lamot earns a scoring right at the end and gets the victory, maybe not the clearest scoring but it could look like the decision had vent that way anyway. On the third places, also to very good fighters. Young Swedish fighters Ali Hayder, shows once again impressing fighting. Other 3rd place Wesley Jansen, The Netherlands, 9 years since last Diamond trophy. Technically, performs “close shave” with razor sharp kicks to advance in the tournament. Men Middleweight category⇓
Reign champion Yuto Eguchi from Japan would be one of the heaviest favorites in the category. But in the eighteen men category there was someone that tough it should be different. Marek Wolny from Poland has grown, and reaches the podium more or less on regular basis in open tournaments and KWU World/EC championships. Haven`t made it to the podium in WKO EC the last two years, but this will be a goal for sure with EC in Poland later this year. Showing great strength and technique on his way to the final where Yuto Eguchi waited. The final became very intense, and sometimes a little messy. Partly because of a lot of will from both, as well as the height of the difference also constituted its part. Top spot for Wolny, and 2nd to Yuto Eguchi.
Japan supported the tournament with another fighter besides Yuto Eguchi. In the heaviest category Yusaku Watanabe,Tsukamoto Dojo, entered the Tatemi, and he did leave a very strong impression. All know the results by now, but one thing for sure Yusaku Watanabe is a fighter everyone want to see more of! In the final Spain had their eminent fighter Dorin Radu. But there was no doubt as Watanabe raised the pace and executed brutal punches and kicks. Russia in on third with Denis Morozevich, after taking a victory over Danish veteran Brian Jakobsen. Other 3rd place went to Juan Crujeiras also from Spain. FULL RESULTS