Russia is traditionally strong in the cadet age group, also at the European Cup for Cadets in Follonica. Fortunately for the home nation the Italian athlete captured four gold medals and 13 in total, much more than last year.
More than 500 athletes came to Follonica for the first European Cup of the season. Some categories with a very strong field of more than 50 judoka and repechage possibility, so busy judo day in Italy.
Russia was ambitious as the first day with three gold medals in the first three male categories. Iznaur Saaev took gold U50kg, Sergey Eroshenko U55kg and Shamil Umaev U60kg. On Sunday Iosif Simin captured the fourth gold for Russia +90kg.
Jaykhunbek Nazarov of Uzbekistan captured gold U66kg among 5 young warriors. Remarkable was a rather weak performance of the Italian boys this time. Just one medal, but at least gold for Alessio Graziano in his category U81kg. Last week he medalled in Lignano as well. Hungary claimed two gold medals for men U73kg by Gergely Nerpel and Zsombor Veg U90kg.
The Italian girls performed much better with three gold medals. Assunta Scutto was the first in her category U48kg in an all Italian final against Sara Lisciani. Veronica Toniolo took gold U52kg witnessed by her parents she defeated Russian Nilufar Ermaganbetova. A good result of the efforts of the last weeks with training camps and gold in Lignano. Martina Esposito (familiar judo name) won gold in the U70kg weight class. On Sunday the Russian women lost two finals, but on Saturday it was Veronika Borisova who took gold U40kg against tiny Italian Lucrezia Tantardini. Many Italians on the podium among the girls, but still space for other countries. Croatia celebrated gold for Croatian Cadet and U23 champion Ana Viktorija Puljiz U44kg. In her semi final she bested Belgian Jente Verstraeten who took bronze and in the final Puljiz overcame Erza Muminoviq of Kosovo.
World bronze medallist Szofi Ozbas of Hungary won the gold U57kg against Nikol Pencue, one of the two medallist from Pan America. Jelena Tasic of Serbia bested Dewi De Vries of Germany in the final U63kg. EYOF finalist Justina Kmieliauskaite of Lithuania captured gold in Follonica. Gold for her country for the first time since 2013 at a European Cup for cadets and first girl since 2007 to take gold.