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Belgrade sets new participants records and promotes to European Open
8 Oct 2016 00:20
The European Cup in Belgrade noted a record of participants with 331 judoka from 30 nations. The old record was in 2012, also just after the Olympic Games and in advance of the European U23 Championships. After this many athletes will go to Rome for the Olympic Training Centre and combine the tour with the European Open in Glasgow.
The event is a good milestone with a strong field. In the category U73kg 48 judoka will be competing. Also this is a record as never in Belgrade a weight category had so many participants. Also that record was from 2012 when U73kg 44 judoka found the capital of Serbia. The good quality year after year proved the success and next year the event will be promoted and become a European Open.
Juicy matches can also be expected U100kg where for instance Russian Niiaz Bilalov and Israelian Yacov Mamistvalov are clustered in one pool. The heavyweight category seems to be a strong target for the Russian athletes anyway. The Russian have a team of 24 judoka, Hungary even more 36 and host Serbia with 48 judoka.
The categories U66, U73 and U81kg all have more than 32 competitors. The women’s U78kg is quite weak with just six athletes but the strength still makes it interesting. Belgrade is a mix of young and more experienced, but the differences are rather small and with a double repechage anything can happen.
Follow the European Cup live from Belgrade.
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Nikola Gezovic (MNE)