2 March 2024


Sarajevo Junior European Cup 2024


Day one at the Sarajevo Junior European Cup 2024 once again highlighted the outstanding organisation skills of the National Judo Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The federation received an EJU Best Technical Organiser award back in 2022, a recognition they aim to upheld ever since. Moreover, Bosnia and Herzegovina goes for the quintet this year with the junior cup being the first of the five events.

The Arena Hotel Hills attracted 295 judoka (176 men and 119 women) from 21 countries. Compared to last year’s edition, this year’s added three countries and over two dozen of athletes. Türkiye managed to top the medal table with three gold and four bronzes. However, the first gold medal of the day went to Poland via Daniela BADURA, who overcome her German opponent, Sara-Joy BAUER in the final of the -63kg category. Badura was overjoyed following her win;

I am very excited about the gold medal; it is my first. I think this is the right way to motivate myself at the beginning of the season and to clear my head before the next competitions. 

Daniela BADURA (POL) © Dino Šečić

The Polish judoka was not the only one who won her first gold at a European Cup today. The home audience had their own show delivered by Sofija PAJIĆ in the -78kg category. Pajić, unlike Badura, had previously collected a silver and five bronze medals from events at such calibres. Therefore, today was a daring victory for the 18-year-old judoka. 

I am very satisfied with today’s result. I think that the renunciation and high-quality work in training have finally paid off. It is a relief that the season started like this, and I sincerely hope that I will continue in this rhythm next weekend in Podgorica. 

The host nation bagged another medal via Lana BJELICA, who won bronze in the category +78kg category. The winner of this weight class was however Croatia’s Marcelina VRANJEŠ, who later explained; 

This was a good and successful test for participation in the European Junior Championship, although not all the best from my category came. This result at the beginning of the season is certainly motivating, especially since my goal is a medal at the European and World Junior Championships. 

Congratulations to all medallists! 

Author: Szandra Szogedi