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Junior European Championships in Sofia delivers the next judo idols
12 Sep 2018 12:35
Sofia is this year’s host of the Junior European Championships. Sofia is a familiar judo city with each year the European Open and previously Bulgaria organized European Juniors in 2004 and European cadets in 2015. In 2013 Samokov was host of the U23 Championships, so each youth generation has been in Bulgaria.
For this edition over 400 judoka from 43 nations have registered. Walking in the streets of Sofia you can see the Vitosha Mountain, and similar for the mountain to climb for the juniors. But some will soon knock on the door in the senior circuit.
We know from examples things can go fast. Think about Olympic Champions Lasha Shavdatuashvili (GEO) or Fabio Basile (ITA).
Each day the tournament will start at 10:00h local time except for the Mixed Team on Sunday at 11:00am. The Sport Hall Asics Arena will be full with athletes making lots of noise for their teammates and in a few years we know who stepped into the footlight of famous former European Junior champions: Angelo Parisi, Waldemar Legien, David Khakhaleishvili. Huseyin Ozkan and in later years Kate Howey, Urska Zolnir, Teddy Riner, Arsen Galstyan, Khasan Khalmurzaev, Majlinda Kelmendi who all won the Olympic title later in their career.
The Junior European Championships have delivered over 70 different Olympic medallists in time.
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Sergio Ibanez Banon (ESP)