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Sarajevo again proud host of Cadet European Championships
26 Jun 2018 13:00
This week more than 450 young judoka are expected to fight at the Cadet European Championships in Sarajevo. The Juan Antonio Samaranch Olympic Hall was named in honor of Juan Antonio Samaranch in 2010 after the death of the former IOC President. The venue was used for various sporting events at the 1984 Winter Olympics.
Now it Hall Zetra is host of the the Cadet European Judo Championships Sarajevo 2018. Ten years ago Sarajevo also hosted European Cadet Championships in 2008 with young Clarisse Agbegnenou (FRA) who won the European title U57kg as well as Kathrin Unterwurzacher (AUT) winning U63kg. In 2003 and 2013 Sarajevo hosted the Junior European Championships, also a distance of a decade when in 2010 the European U23 Championships were held. So we know the candidate for 2020. Last year this event was held in Kaunas (LTU).
The same hall was used for the World Cadet Championships in 2015 where Genki Koga and Daria Bilodid became champion. Bilodid won all European titles since then.
Bosnia Herzegovina itself celebrated two European Championships, in 2011 Amel Mekic was the first and in 2012 Larisa Ceric was the second winning the U23 title. She won silver at the senior World Open in Marrakech last year.
The strongest judoka around are from Russia, Italy, Turkey and Azerbaijan to name a few of the top nations winning most medals in the World Cadet Tour. Italy’s Veronica Toniolo won four European Cup this season and six medals in total. She is definitely among the favourites, but the Italian girls have a tremendous strong team. Also Hungary can be expected with two top athletes in Szofi Ozbas and Gergely Nerpel. Germany’s Raffaela Igl won three tournaments so far in 2018 and can be counted among the candidates for gold. No high expectations for the host nation this time, only Hana Piralic won a bronze medal at the European Cup in Follonica. Bosnia never won a European cadet title. Petar Zadro (2012) and Aleksandra Samardzic were both close with silver (2012-2013).
In total 42 countries will be present with complete teams of 20 athletes from Bosnia-Herzegovina, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Romania, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine. Only in 2015 and 2012 the Cadet Europeans had more participants.
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Charles Breton-Leduc (CAN)