Yet again we have a potential for European gold in every weight category on day two of the Junior World Championships 2023, including two guaranteed bronze medals.
In the -57kg category, eyes were on IJF World Tour medallist, Veronica TONIOLO (ITA) who has openly made it her mission to take the world title today, following great success at the Junior European Championships. The Italian athlete wants to complete her collection in Odivelas, Portugal. Standing in her way during the semi final round was worthy opponent, Pihla SALONEN (FIN) but a counter from Toniolo was enough to transition in to ne waza and a shime waza won her the place in the final. There Toniolo finds herself against Japan’s HONDA Riko who became Cadet World Champion in August this year.
There were huge surprises in the -73kg category as current Junior European Champion, Giorgi TERASHVILI (GEO) was defeated by Ioan DZITAC (ROU) in the early rounds, as was the other European finalist, Otari KVANTIDZE (POR). The bronze medallists from The Hague, Luke DAVIES (GBR) and Vusal GALANDARZADE (AZE) continued further than the previous two, but only the Azeri athlete managed to make in to the final block. The WRL #4, Galandarzade, will meet the WRL #3 Jack YONEZUKA (USA) in the final, after a sensational day for both, predicting who could become the champion would be an impossible task.
As for the -63kg category, Melkia AUCHERCORNE (FRA) was the only number one seed today to make it to the final. Auchercorne really had to dig deep in each of her contests with her opponents desperate to take out the top athlete today. In the final, she will face TAKAKI Mizuki (JPN), and with no previous internationals it is hard to gage just how this will go. This a great turn around for the French team, a bronze yesterday and now a guaranteed podium finish on day two.
The final block will again start at 16:00 local time, with the live action available at JudoTV.com.
Author: Thea Cowen