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European U23 champions analysed by age

12 Nov 2015 17:15

   IJF Media Team / IJF
20120728_London_CSERNOVICZKI, Eva (HUN) (10)

What is the best age to become European U23 champion? In this age categories most of the medal winners already have senior experience. In the women they have a more solid position compared to the men at the same age where the competition is tougher.

In general the average age of tall U23 European champions in 20.5 years. There’s no substantial difference between men and women’s champions. Hungarian Eva Csernoviczky is by far the youngest with 16 years and almost 200 days when she took the title in 2003 at the first edition.

She took three titles and was also 22 years at her last of three victories in 2008. Belgian Amelie Rosseneu was the oldest in 2010 with 22 years and 305 days.

One of the youngest was Dilara Lokmanhekim. In 2012 she won both the title for Juniors as U23, although in that year there were no World Junior Championships.

By category the youngest average age of all winners is achieved U73kg, just 20 years, with Ilias Iliadis who is typical with his 16 years as European U23 champion. At the age of 19 he was also U23 champion as youngest U100kg, the category with the oldest champions, almost 22 years.

Clearly the more mature judoka have a better chance. Last year the average age was the highest since 2008, 21 years.

More important is the transition to the senior category. A European U23 title doesn’t guarantee a successful career. Just 17 of 148 (11.5%) European U23 Champions won a medal in this Olympic cycle at the Olympic Games, or three World Championships. 19%, 29 judoka ever won a medal at either Olympic Games or World Championships, so 12 before 2012. 5 Hungarian judoka, 4 French and 3 Dutch judoka who seemed to have the best transition to the highest level.

Related judoka and events

Related Judo Photos

  • Dilara Lokmanhekim (TUR) - European Championships U23 Prague (2012, CZE) - © Christian Fidler
  • Ilias Iliadis (GRE) - European Championships Bucharest (2004, ROU) - © David Finch,
  • Telma Monteiro (POR) - World Championships Rio de Janeiro (2007, BRA) - © Reuters

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