The Russian men dominated the first two days of the Junior European Championships with four gold medals, a 100% score. Russia’s golden boys were Khetag Basaev U60kg, Kazbek Naguchev U66kg, Armen Agaian U73kg and David Karapetyan U81kg, four gold medals in a row. It was the first time ever Russian men were able to captured four European Junior titles. In 2018 and 2019 Russia had no male champions.
At the third day in Porec (CRO) France, Georgia and Hungary captured the gold. In the women’s division five countries claimed the Junior European titles. France and Serbia both won two medals. The Netherlands and the Ukraine were unlucky with both three lost finals.
At the third day Frenchman Francis Damer took gold U90kg against Alex Cret of Romania. Damer became the youngest winner of the tournament with his 18 years. There weren’t many participants at day three, the U90kg had 27 athletes, U100kg only 15 and +100kg 14 athletes. The gold for men U100kg went Ilia Sulamanidze of Georgia in the final against Mert Sismanlar (TUR). Richard Sipocz was the expected winner +100kg. The Hungarian super talent defeated Yevheniy Balyevskyy (UKR).
Serbia was strong at the first day of the event in Porec. With two gold medals the women did what was expected. Gold for Andrea Stojadinov U48kg and Marica Perisic U57kg. French Mokda Faiza claimed the gold medal U52kg in her final against brave Naomi van Krevel (NED) who took the initiative but got caught later in the contest by Faiza. France won a second female gold medal against the Netherlands when heavyweight Lea Fontaine defeated Marit Kamps in the final +78kg. The Dutch team was somewhat unlucky as U78kg Kim Hooi (NED) lost her final against Metka Lobnik of Slovenia.
Czech Republic cheered for Renata Zachova who won the gold medal U63kg, her stars keeps rising which is hopeful for the European Senior Championships in Prague where Zachova will compete. Zachova is the first Junior European Champion for Czech Republic since Lukas Krpalek won the title in 2008.
Poland is also not spoiled when it comes to Junior European titles, but this year Katarzyna Sobierajska surprised U70kg with gold against Joana Crisostomo (POR). Cyprus won its first Junior European medal ever when Sofia Asvesta captured a bronze medal U52kg, a huge success as Cyprus so far only took a medal at Cadet Europeans.
In total 356 athletes took part from 37 of the 52 European nations. Over the last 10 years more than 40 nations usually participated, last year in Finland 44.