On Friday the European Club Championships will take place in Romania. Romania celebrates 100 years and for this occasion the best world class athletes are in Bucharest for the annual Team Championships with the best clubs of Europe. Not just with European athletes but clubs have attracted world wide presence of athletes.
At the Sala Polivalenta the Champions League and Europe League will take be hosted. The Champions League is for the top clubs in Europe and the Europe League for a division lower with free entries where clubs can qualify for next year’s Champions League.
In the Champions League 8 teams will fight for the European title. As usual with Yawara Newa (RUS) as title defenders for both men’s and women’s division. Another strong team from Russia is Edelweiss Grozny that won the European Club Championships last year, now called the Europa League like we have in football. Grozny will have Ilias Iliadis in the team, the Greek judo icon will make a temporary comeback for this occasion to support his team. His team will face Red Star Belgrade, the team of 2017 World Champion Nemanja Majdov who won the European Junior title in this same hall in 2014. Interesting is also the South European clash between Sporting CP Lisbon with Jorge Fonseca and CJ Valencia that will include strong men from Spain, Germany, Panama and Dominican Republic. The Greek team of Aris that promoted last year will face the home team of CSM Bucharest.
In the women’s division Yawara Newa starts against the Italian women of Fiamme Gialle. French team that won bronze last year Pontault Combault is opposed to JC Vinkovci with some Croatian but also Italian athletes including 2012 Olympic bronze medallist Rosalba Forciniti. The women from last year’s finalist VCJ Valencia will have Spanish and Pan American athletes facing CSM Dinamo Bucharest. And as always the Turkish team of Galatasaray will have a strong line-up with Turkish and Kosovo women, they will be in their first match against Flam 91, the team that won the Europe League last year. Despite the strong Bundesliga, no German not Austrian team in the Champions League.
The Europa League will take place on Saturday for men and on Sunday for women.