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Big teams and big expectations at European Junior Championships

Big teams and big expectations at European Junior Championships

16 Sep 2016 11:45
Menno Lesterhuis

The Netherlands was the glorious winner of the previous European Judo Championships held in Oberwart, Austria. With four gold medals the Dutch team finished for the talents of Georgia (3) while France and Hungary won two European Junior titles.

This year’s host Spain was close with a final for Tecla Cadilla U57kg and bronze for Sara Rodriguez U78kg. With a team of 20 participants Spain will try to claim a title this time. In 2014 Fran Garrigos was the last one, but before him heavyweight Sara Alvarez Folgueira in 2008. In this century just three Spanish junior titles.

In the rich history of these championships, held since the sixties, France is the most successful nation with 71 titles, followed by the Netherlands (60). France will have a full team in Malaga at 2016 edition of 20 talents including last year’s champion Astride Gneto, but also the Dutch team as well as Russia and Italy will have 20 athletes on the tatami.

Among Last year’s champions born in 1996 or later Frank de Wit is missing, de Wit qualified U81kg for the Olympic Games and skips this event to defend his title.

The most successful athlete in the Junior World Tour this year is Dutchman Simeon Catharina with 5 medals including three European Cup victories. World Cadet Champion Catharina will aim for his first Junior title, while he is just 18.

Last year’s Dutch European Champion Amber Gersjes will defend her title in Malaga. Hungarians Reka Pupp and Szabina Gercszak are ready to defend the titles, both have some good experience in the seniors.

Romania will start with 18 athletes including title defender Stefania Dobre (U57kg). Pavel Patokov is again in the team of 20 Russias athletes including Mikhail Igolnikov fighting U90kg.

Vasylyna Kyrychenko defends her title +78kg in Malaga for the Ukraine and Georgia have last year’s winner Tamazi Kirakozashvili in the team.

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