As established last week, the Juniors began their hectic times of the year. This involves back to back competitions and training camps. This weekend, over 400 athletes from 30 different countries will be heading to Paks, Hungary, for yet another edition of the Junior European Judo Cup. 

The host nation will seek for success with the total number of 68 athletes. The team is a mixture of top Cadets and Junior judoka. Such names as FECZKO Csanad (-55kg), PONGRACZ Bence (-66kg), SZEREDAS Botond (-66kg), WACZULIK Richard (+100kg), SIPOCZ Richard (+100kg) and SZIGETVARI Mercedesz (+78kg) will be worth watching out for. There are a dozen of athletes to focus on from the visitors front: Lois PETIT (BEL), Toni MILETIC (BIH), Iva OBERAN (CRO), Karla PRODAN (CRO), Anja and Jovana OBRADOVIC (SRB), Seija and Mascha BALLHAUS (GER), Acelya TOPRAK (GBR), Shelley LUDFORD (GBR), Tamar MALCA (ISR) and Raz HERSHKO (ISR). Italy and France, both entered with a good bunch and should be no surprise to see a portion of the team on the podium. A three-day training camp is on offer for all travelling to Hungary for the weekend. 

Meanwhile in Saarbrucken almost 500 athletes from 31 different countries, including some of the elites, will step into the field of play as part of their preparation ahead of the 2018 World Judo Championships. The French man team put in a strong line including the duet in the -60kg category with Vincent LIMARE and Cedric REVOL. Jorre VERSTRAETEN of Belgium will be joining the force in the light weights. Within the same division, medal chance for the home nation will come from Moritz PLAFKY. Mentioning the German team, they entered 138 athletes in total. Georgia’s powerhouse, Beka GVINIASHVILI will return to routine, for this weekend, in the -100kg category. Olympic Champion and Olympic Bronze medallist, Lasha SHAVDATUASHVILI as well as European Champion, Vazha MARGVELASHVILI are also on the list of entries. All of them a weigh division above the norm. Nijat SHIKHALIZADA of Azerbaijan also joins the show a category above.

From the ladies side, Germany has the following leading names on the list: Marlene GALANDI (-70kg), Giovanna SCOCCIMARRO (-70kg), Nadja BAZYNSKI (-63kg), Johanna MULLER (-57kg) and Luise MALZAHN (-78kg). Lubjana PIOVESANA and Amy LIVESEY will strengthen the chances for Great Britain in the -63kg category. Stepping up a division for the weekend amongst the female participants are Miryam ROPER (PAN) and Agata PERENC (POL). Team mate of the latter, Karolina PIENKOWSKA will give a good run up to the rest of the 24 contenders in the -52kg category, regardless of her unseeded position. A three-day training camp will also take place in Germany.