6 September 2023


European Judo Championships Juniors The Hague 2023


For the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic, the competition draw was live and in person. The Hague welcomed executive committee, technical officials and once again, coaches, to mark the opening of the Junior European Judo Championships 2023.

Opening the draw was EJU President, Dr. TÓTH László,

It has been a long time since we have been here in the Netherlands, I am very happy to be with you all today, and to see the future stars this week. I hope that the judo this week will promote the greatest aspects of our sport and continue to influence children in Europe.

To be together again, is such a huge reason to celebrate, a great decision from the coaches commission and I’m so glad we could come together. I am sure that the Dutch Judo Federation will show quality, creating a wonderful event for these 365 athletes from 42 nations.

EJU President, Dr. TÓTH László. © Tino Maric

Following Tóth was Tournament Director for the Dutch Judo Federation, Thomas VAN GESTEL,

It is a great pleasure and honour to host this event, Dutch Judo are committed to set the standard, not just for juniors but for all levels. We will also be celebrating kata and adapted judo here as well, but for those competing in this Junior European Championships, we wish success to all of the athletes and coaches in all of their endeavours.

Thomas VAN GESTEL. © Tino Maric

For the European Judo Union it is a wonderful return to the Netherlands following their last Grand Prix in 2018, it is an exciting tournament to get the ball rolling for the Dutch Judo Federation and we can look forward to some tremendous judo from these champions.

For EJU Sports Director, Urska ZOLNIR JUGOVAR, having the coaches back at the draw is a great benefit,

I think it’s very important to have the coaches here, to have this social aspect and to communicate with one another. During the competition they are all very focussed on their athletes, so here it gives them an opportunity to share information, to share examples. This live draw scenario will only happen for European Championships and it is good for these coaches, especially for cadets and juniors as some don’t have so much contact with the others.

EJU Sports Director, Urska ZOLNIR JUGOVAR. © Tino Maric

The tournament will commence tomorrow, the 7th of September at 10:00 local time, live streaming available at JudoTV.com.

Author: Thea Cowen