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Iliadis reigns in European judo

Ilias Iliadis has once again reached the pinnacle of European judo in his category, confirming that he is one of Greece?s greatest hopes for a medal in next year?s Olympic Games in London.

The gold medalist in the 2004 Olympics in Athens swept to the top of the 90-kilogram category on April 23 at the European Championship in Istanbul, with five victories in as many matches.

Iliadis, Greece?s flag bearer in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, beat his Russian opponent Kirill Denisov in the final to edge closer to qualifying for the London Games.

This was Iliadis?s second European Championship gold medal, having claimed the first one seven years ago.

“This has really been the best Easter of my life. Winning gold in the European Championship, and in Turkey at that, will be something special. I could not have wished for anything better,” said Iliadis, who is also about to become a father for the second time.

The 25-year-old led the national squad to seventh place in the European Championship?s final team standings.