With six medals in the men’s division Russia made a statement at the Cadet European Championships. In the women’s division there was more space for other countries and France won two gold medals, including one on the last day by Lea Fontaine.
Remarkable were the four silver medals for Italy, but on Saturday Martina Esposito finally made that right winning her category U70kg. Esposito defeated Daria Kariakina in the final and left favourite Raffaela Igl (GER) with bronze. Lea Fontaine gave Marit Kamps of the Netherlands not much chance in the final and took her over and finished her match by oseikomi. Justina Kmieliauskaite won the second ever medal for a Lithuania girl. The first since 10 years.
Daniil Umarov captured gold U81kg against Dutchman Mark van Dijk. With 29 judoka in this class it wasn’t the strongest but internationally very competitive and Umarov is one of those youngster who might be able to follow up Mikhail Igolnikov in the future. Russia won more than 80 titles since the first championships were held in 2000. In 2009 Russia won even 9 titles, but since then Cadet judo developed strongly in Europe with many more countries competing.
Matvey Kanikovskiy won gold U90kg against Georgian Nika Kharazishvili with Ilia Sulamanidze winning bronze for Georgia.
Finally it was Richard Sipocz of Hungary who met with the expectations defeating Turkish strong man Omer Aydin. Aydin was impressive this season but also Hungarian Sipocz was strong and in the final in was between the two favourites. Sipocz won the battle after three minutes and raised his hands for the first victory for his country this event and he regained his title of 2016 when he was just 15. This time Georgia Hagianu of Romania was with 14 years the youngest winner on the first day.