Though the European Judo Championships came to an end last week, the 2nd Minsk European Games officially closed the event on Sunday 30th of June. Once again, the Games proved to be a fantastic event and was an incredible opportunity for the European judo athletes to experience a multi-sport event.
As part of the Games, a 500-strong Judo Family Camp was held with children and parents from Ukraine and Russia. These judo loving families certainly contributed to the electric atmosphere, supporting their heroes and we’re able to see a number of Champions from both Russia and Ukraine step on the top of the podium.
On the judo scene, Russia (2|3|2), Georgia (2|1|4) and France (2|0|3) topped the medal table and the home nation, Belarus finishing comfortably in the top 10 thanks to Maryna SLUTSKAYA taking the gold in the +78kg category. It was a wonderful turn around for Georgia as the previous year they were terribly unlucky in their results but have proved they are back where they belong.
Also, an unmistakably impressive result came through for Kosovo, out of the four athletes they had entered, three took medals including Majlinda Kelmendi (-52kg), Nora GJAKOVA (-57kg) and Loriana KUKA (-78kg), taking a gold, silver and bronze respectively.
The following athletes are now current World and European Champions and will undoubtedly be aiming to keep up the winning streak in the World Championships in Tokyo in two months time; Daria BILODID (UKR), Clarisse AGBEGNENOU (FRA) and Guram TUSHISHVILI (GEO).
The Mixed Teams event proved a brilliant success, with emotional celebrations from the small but mighty team of Portugal as they took an incredible silver medal, facing Russia in the final. Austria was next to make a historical claim, taking the bronze medal and displaying possibly the biggest celebration of the tournament.
We will welcome back the top European athletes next year in Prague, Czech Republic. The next edition will take place in end of April 2020.
Author: Thea Cowen