Croatia Cup 2008
Alexander Guerunov Wins 2008 Croatia Cup
The 17th Croatia Cup was held before around 700 spectators in the Trnsko Sports Hall in Zagreb on 24 and 25 May 2008. Alexander Guerunov of Russia won his fifth consecutive title in the elite Super OPEN category. After three wins in the eliminations, he defeated Mario Vucic of Croatia. In the final, he met with the experienced Greek athlete Kostas Papadopoulos, who had also reached the final after three wins in the eliminations, and another one against Rene Smaal of the Netherlands in the semi-finals. It was an expected final between two best-ranked athletes, and as it turned out, the best bout in the tournament. The experienced Greek started out great, surprised Guerunov with fast hand moves towards his head and took a lead of 2-0 and 3-1. However, Guerunov managed to make a complete turn around, win three points in a row and win the match 4-3.
„This year's match was the most difficult one, I had to work hard for each point“, Guerunov said after the final.
„I think I was deprived of one point, but I'm not sorry, I am here to fight and I enjoy it, and I also want the audience to enjoy“, Papadopoulos said at the end. Vucic and Vukobrat of Croatia finished third after very good performances. Besides the mentioned medallists, Super OPEN also included Hamed Ziksari and Farzad Abbas Zadeh of Iran (the latter was one step from a medal), Smaal, Sheppard, Vale, Berens and Matilda of the Netherlands, Michinov and Dobrinov of Bulgaria, Guba of Hungary, four competitors from Bosnia and Hercegovina and seven from Croatia.
Jelena Kovacevic from Rijeka, Croatia, won the women's kumite open category after defeating her townswoman Petra Volf in the final.
Mirna Senjug and Kristian Novak didn't allow for any surprise in the women's and men's kata competition, defeating Valeria Vujcic and Bor Dereani respectively.
Representatives of Hungary dominated the competition in younger categories on the second day of the tournament – they won 43 medals, followed by Samobor KC,  with 14, Croatia KC, with 12 and the young team of the Netherlands with 9 medals.
A total of 650 competitors from 73 teams coming from 13 countries participated in the two days of competition.
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