The French juniors captured 16 medals at the Junior European Cup in Malaga this weekend, but the French weren’t the most efficient team as Russia took four gold medals, three in the men’s division. However speaking about efficiency, four Japanese women in Malaga took four medals, three gold of four finallists.
Spain had hope for a gold medal in the women’s division U63kg with Maria Oliver and Irene Camus both in the semi-finals, it was Oliver who reached the final against Japanese Ayana Yuki, but the Japanese snatched the gold.
In the past La Coruna was the host city for this Junior event, the sixth in the European Tour for this age category. The interest in this division is big with 337 athletes this was even the second lowest participation number so far, can you imagine the interest of the juniors to develop to senior level.
The men’s category U73 had 49 young men and winner Hugo Metifiot had to win his five contests. Spanish Daniel Segado was close to gold but claimed the second silver medal for the host nation.
Russia added four gold medals in Malaga. So far in six events Russia won 25 titles and 95 medals. From the European nations Italy and the Netherlands both captured nine gold medals, a huge gap with the Russian Federation.
Polish Kinga Wolszczak was one of the youngest winners of this European Cup season with her 17 years. She captured the gold in the women’s heavyweight class. Also Italy’s Federico Cuniberti is in the top 10 youngest winners this season. The Italian talent won in the category U66 where his example Fabio Basile won the Olympic title. Raquel Brito (16) of Portugal was (again) the youngest medallist this weekend, this time at Junior level U48kg. With three bronze medals the Portuguese are working on their talents.
This year the European Championships in September are held in Vaantaa in Finland and the World Championships in Marrakech, that’s the podium all these youngsters want to battle for a medal. Malaga was just a finger practice, but with a good result, Marrakech is not so far away.