Maribor is hosting this year’s European championships for junior judokas, aged between 15 and 21 years. After the first day of competition on Friday, judo has eight new European champions. Individual competitions will end tomorrow, whereas Sunday will feature team event, a new competition which will also be premiered at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The first day of competition was not a success for the host country Slovenia, since all ten judokas finished their appearances in the first round. Slovenian head coach Gregor Brod hopes to have more luck tomorrow, when he has nine fighters in the field. Altogether, almost 500 judokas from 41 countries compete in Maribor’s Lukna Hall.
Today, women judokas fought for medals in the categories under 44, 48, 52 and 57 kilos, while men were competing in the categories under 55, 60, 66 and 73 kilos. In the lightest women’s category, Justine Deleuil from France beat Lois Petit from Belgium in the final, while Russian Kristina Bulgakova and Romanian Mihaela Chiss won bronze. In the under 48 kilo category, Amber Gersjes from the Netherlands left the tatami as the winner, Laura Martinez Abelenda won silver and Gultay Mammadaliyeva from Azerbaijan and Anais Mosdier from France secured bronze.
In the women’s under 52 kilo category, two Israeli girls won gold, Betina Temelkova was second, losing to Irem Korkmaz from Turkey in the final, and Gefen Primo was third together with Nazakat Azizova from Azerbaijan. Winning in the under 57 kilo category was Dutch Larissa Van Krevel, Britain’s Acelya Toprak won silver and bronze went to French Sarah Leonie Cysique and Poland’s Julia Kowalczyk.
In the men’s under 55 kilo category, Russian Murtaz Sheriev was the best, beating Rashkhan Bakhishaliyev of Azerbaijan in the final, while Romanian Vlad Luncan and Theo Raoul Hebrard from France won bronze. The category under 60 kilo saw Karamat Huseynov from Azerbaijan winning by beating Belgium’s Jorre Verstraeten in the final, while Russian Ramazan Abdulaev and Naoufal Ez Zerrad from Belgium won bronze medals.
Denislav Ivanov from Bulgaria won gold in the under 66 kilo category, beating Italian Gabriele Sulli in the final. Michel Adam from Germany and Oleh Ovcharenko from Ukraine got bronze medals. Hidayat Heydarov from Azerbaijan was best in the under 73 category, beating fellow countryman Murad Fatiyev in the final. Russian David Gamosov and Tato Grigalashvili from Georgia succeeded in bronze medal fights.
Today’s first day also saw many distinguished guests attending the competition as spectators, among them European Judo Union president Sergey Soloveychik, Slovenian Deputy Prime Minister Dejan Židan and Mayor of Maribor Andrej Fištravec. The president of the Slovenian Judo Federation, Darko Mušič, also addressed the packed Lukna Hall