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Emilia Kanerva opens the treasury for Finland
4 Jul 2015 19:05
At the second and last individual day of the European Cadet Championships, next year’s host of this event could cheer. Emilia Kanerva boosted the event with a gold medal U57kg. The General Secretary of the Finnish Judo Association, Miikka Neuvonen, said: "It was the first time in 15 years that Finland won gold at a Cadet Europeans. It is definitely a boost for next year and we needed that. Everyone needs a role model and an example, and now we have one."
The winner, Finnish talent Emilia Kanerva certainly proved it today and the whole season. She is one of the best performing athletes across all European Cups for cadets this year and was expected on the stage. Kanerva opened up a new route to the upcoming generation. What more than a golden victory could lay out the ground better for the host of the 2016 Cadet European Championships.
Kanerva: “I think my victory today will have a positive impact because Finland hasn’t got any medals for years and when we finally have one it opens up opportunities, hopes and believes. I can’t compete there anymore but for sure I will be there to watch and support the team.”
The last and only winner until today of European Cadet gold for Finland was Johanna Ylinen in 2000. The Finnish didn’t have the pleasure of having a European Championships since 2006 when the European Senior Championships were held in Tampere, but it didn’t deliver the effect of getting more champions. By far the most successful is lightweight Jaana Sundberg.
In 1975 the city of Turku was the host of the European Cadet Championships, so more than 40 years later Finland will give it another try, but now with a current European Champion in Kanerva.
Kanerva has shown domination at both, in tachi-waza, and in ne-waza throughout the day. The Finnish fighter has been attending at Cadet Europeans on two occasions and narrowly missed out on taking a medal. “Today my target was to win a medal, I wanted it so badly and I managed to take gold at the end, so I am really happy.” Three consecutive win by ippon led her to see herself in the semi-final stage. “The semi-final was my hardest fight today because I knew if I win that fight than I am definitely taking a medal today. So it was mentally the hardest one.”
At the end, with clever tactical skills, the fight was won by three penalties and Kanerva was going through to the final, where she had to defeat Anastasia Kolyadenkova (RUS).
“I was really nervous before the final because I lost against her last year by Ippon.” It is only a matter of time before Finland’s new cadet champion will be on the move again. “I am going to fight in few weeks time again at the European Youth Olympic Festival in Georgia.”
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Abdullatif Kopuz (TUR)