Croatia Cup 2009
Tzanos of Greece Wins 2009 Super EIGHT

The 18th Croatia Cup international karate tournament was held before an audience of about 600 at the Trnsko School Gym on 30 and 31 May 2009. The elite event of the tournament – the Super EIGHT – was won by the 19-year old Greek Georgios Tzanos. He began his path towards the gold medal and main prize of € 5,000.- displaying excellent performance in the elimination part, defeating the World Heavyweight Champion Maniscalco of Italy with 2-1 already in the first bout. Then he bested Neven Martic of Croatia, so that the tie against Matijevic of Slovenia was enough for him to secure the first place in his group. Gogita Arkania of Georgia left the best impression in the other group. He also already indicated in the first bout that he was going for the final, defeating the top favourite, five-time Croatia Cup winner and current European Champion Alexander Guerunov of Russia with 2-0. After a tie against the attractive Dutch karateka Rene Smaal, he defeated Jovanovic of Serbia in the last bout of the group with 1-0, which was enough for winning the first place in the group and getting into the final. Tzanos won the final with 3-1. The Greek's tactical maturity and lack of excessive respect for his much more experienced and successful opponents were impressive. Arkania had to settle for silver and the prize of € 3,000.-. In the bronze medal bout, Neven Martic from the Croatian town of Opatija confirmed that it was his day, defeating the favouriteGuerunov. After a great match and 3-3 in the regular time, Neven celebrated with 2-1 in the extra time. Martic ended up winning the bronze medal and prize of € 1,000.- but defeating the current World and European Champions, Maniscalco andGuerunov, probably meant even more to him. 

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