Hungary is traditionally strong in this age category, but most over in the women’s division. It was a surprise to see Gabor Hagyo in the final U66kg. Despite his national U23 title and European Cup victory in Bratislava he wasn’t the favourite to take the European title. But in the tradition of Hungary also he added to the success. It was his first ever European medal, and this one counts as the highlight in his career.
In the final Hagyo defeated Emanuele Bruno, also for him an excellent silver medal. Hagyo was clear that he needed less than a minute to defeat his last of five opponents. Zsolt Gorjanacz won bronze for Hungary last year in the same category. Hagyo is the seventh Hungarian men to win the title, Barna Bor won three European U23 titles, for the 22-year old Hagyo this was his last chance.
Emanuele Bruno came in form winning silver at the European Cup in Sindelfingen, a good warning for his opponents in Samokov. He defeated the second ranked Adrien Bourguignon in his first match and surprised Yakub Shamilov in the semi final. Both opponents were more expected in the final which was a surprise.
Andraz Jereb won the bronze by a splendid throw against Akil Gjakova. Jereb took the bronze and was happy. At least he won his last match, in 2010 year he lost the final U66kg at the European U23 Championships, followed by silver at the Junior Europeans in 2011.
The second bronze was won by Russian Yakub Shamilov who kept away Cunnar Kops of the Netherlands in the bronze bout. Shamilov was able to score waza-ari and yuko and temporized the match waiting to counter the Dutchman. His efforts weren’t awarded with a score and it was Shamilov who took home the medal.