We are days away from the Veteran European Judo Championships 2023 which is due to be held at beautiful surroundings by the river of Sotla, in a city called, Podčetrtek. Hundreds of competitors from almost 40 countries are on route for what can only be described as a family friendly continental championships. The individual event is due to take place between 8-10 June with the team event held on the 11 June.
Athletes will be allocated in different age division. The minimum age to enter this tournament is 30-year-old, within the year of the event. Within the table below, ‘M’ refers to the male divisions whilst ‘F’ indicated the female divisions. The following age groups will be competing over the next few days.
Over two-dozens of 2022 veteran European Champions arriving to eastern Slovenia to either defend their titles within the same age and weight category or prove themself at a different one. Sandro IAKOBASHVIL (GEO) won gold at the M1 -81kg category and for this week he will be seeking to regain this title amongst M2. Same goes for teammate, Zaza DAVADZE (GEO) in the -90kg category. Petur Segur JOHANNESEN (FRO) is coming for gold in the -100kg category whilst Mammad MAMADOV (AZE) will seek for just as much in the -73kg category.
There are a list of title holders across the M3 age group too, namely Azer FATULLAYEV (AZE), Martin MAIRHOFER (AUT), Marat SPEKTOR (ISR) and Francesco IANNONE (ITA). The latter won the +100kg last year and for this year, he is jumping down to challenge the -100kg where Spektor is the current champion. M4 will bring back two golden men from Azerbaijan, precisely, Babak HAJIYEV (-60kg) and Emil HUSEYNOV (-100kg). France and Portugal will also come with replicating victory hopes by Yann CALARNOU (-66kg) and Joao SANTOS (-90kg).
In white, Bugvi POULSEN (FRO).
Martin MAIRHOFER (AUT).
Francesco IANNONE (ITA).
Jessica ZANNONI (SMR).
In the middle, Fran DE SOMER (BEL).
The M5 group will see -60kg champion, Ermanno AGOSTINI (BEL), -66kg gold medallist Krzysztof CZUPRYNA (POL) and -81kg title holder, Bugvi POULSEN (FRO) back in action. An age group above, Finland’s golden reappearance will lay in the hands of Pasi LAUREN (-73kg), whilst Italy and Austria joining the queue via Valerio ROMEO (-81kg) and Karl MOSER (-90kg). Poland has a duplicating venture in the M7 group with Stanislaw PAZGAN (-66kg). Manfred ZOELLNER (GER) won the -81kg within the M8 division and currently on the entry list to regain his title. No difference for teammate, Emil MESSNER across the M9 -73kg. Meanwhile, Constantin BRINZA (MDA) is going to test the -60kg category.
The female divisions have a few returning champions too. Two F1 winners are heading for glory amongst the F2 group, respectively, Ludmila SVATON (CZE) -57kg and Fran DE SOMER (BEL) -63kg. San Marino’s golden lady, Jessica ZANNONI will be the one to keep an eye on in the -70kg category. F4 brings champions from Portugal by Carolina COSTA (-52kg) and Italy with Ilenia PAOLETTI (-70kg). Lena STEREA (ROU) causing regular upsets in the -57kg category and she will certainly remain challenging in the F5 division.
Find below the provisional programme. The schedule may be modified according to the total number of entries. All live action and contests can be followed via JudoTV.com.
Author: Szandra Szogedi