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Zagreb crushes all records with almost 800 youngsters
12 Mar 2018 14:30
Almost 800 judoka from 37 nations and lots of coaches attended the European Cup for Cadets in Zagreb. Not far away from home, the Hungarian judoka performed best with three gold medals, followed by the Croatian talents, also capturing three gold medals but no other medals, very efficient though.
The organization is experienced for years and knows to handle such amount of athletes, nonetheless 793 improved the all time record of all European Cups in all ages ever. The previous record was just one judoka less, also in Zagreb. Zagreb, Berlin and Teplice are the top events for the cadets this season as a preparation and qualification for the European Championships, EYOF and, later this year the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires.
One of the successful teams was Brazil with nine medals the most successful team in terms of medals. One the bigger nations France was less efficient with three lost finals. With 14 medal winning nations the tournament was successful and started on Saturday with gold for Italy. Giulia Giorgi took gold U40kg. Not much later Carlotta AVanzato took the second gold for Italy U48kg. Croatia was successful with its young women’s generation picking up three gold medals. Ana Viktorija Puljiz U44kg, Lara Cvjetko on Sunday U57kg and Katarina Kristo U63kg. Lisa Grabner won the first gold medal of the season for Austria U52kg. Stephan Hegyi was the most successful cadet ever for Austria.
The strong German team has dominated this level of judo for year but could only secure one gold medal by Raffaela Igl U70kg, what a competition they have in Germany in this class. Brazil is always strong in the heavyweight category +70kg and Anna Santos won gold. Brazil won two gold medals just like last year in Zagreb.
In the boys division Hungary was really strong with three gold for lightweight Balint Gombas U50kg, Gyorgy Szatmari U60 and on Sunday for heavyweight Richard Sipocz. He prolonged the title of last year in Zagreb when Hungary captured 4 gold medals.
Belarus is not only successful in the new senior generation but also at this level with gold for Artsiom Kolasau U55kg. Hamza Jashari surprised for Macedonia with gold U66kg, a weight class with 86 young men. On Sunday the class U73kg had even 90 participants, a record at European level, never there were such a big poules in any weight class. Adrian Sulca of Romania had the honour to win the battle and had to win seven contests. If you survive such battles, you can say you are the right winner.
Marcos Santos of Brazil took the first gold medal for Brazil U81kg, the second ever for Brazil in this category where top athletes stood up like Leandro Guilheiro, Rafael Macedo, Victor Penalber and Flavio Canto, nice examples who all led the World Ranking in this class.
Slovenia won the first and only gold this weekend in Zagreb by Rok Pogorevc in the class U90kg.
Many coaches on the side for the youngsters among them famous athletes such as Gevrise Emane of France, who won three world titles, Olympic bronze and five senior European titles. What an example.
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Jenneke Nijkamp (NED)
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