21 May 2023


East Sarajevo Senior European Cup 2023


Author: Dino Stambolić

On the second competition day at East Sarajevo European Cup 2023 spectators in the sports hall “Peki” could also enjoyed in interesting and quality fights.

The third gold medal for Azerbaijan at the East Sarajevo European Cup 2023 was won by Magerram Imamverdiev. In the final of -81kg category, he was better than the Dutchman Coen Van Winden. Bronze medals went to Mo Van Dun (Netherlands) and Mikulas Mesko (Czech Republic).

For Magerram Imamverdiev, the competition in East Sarajevo was his third in Bosnia and Herzegovina and it was lucky for him.

All opponents were extremely high-quality, but in the end I think I deservedly won. This was the ‘third-time-lucky’ for me in Bosnia. The first time I didn’t win a medal, the last time I was third and now the gold has arrived. Thanks to my family and the Judo Federation of Azerbaijan for their support.

Magerram Imamverdiev (AZE) © Dino Šečić

Even today, the home crowd had a reason to be happy and celebrate. That reason was Božidar Vučurević, who triumphed in the category up to 90 kilograms.

The judoka from Bosnia and Herzegovina did not hide his enthusiasm after winning his first gold at a European Judo Cup for seniors.

The feeling is phenomenal because it is not easy to beat five extremely good and motivated opponents. I’m especially happy because I won here, on home soil.

His coach Mitar Mrdić was no less happy about the gold.

After the problem with injuries, we finally got into the right rhythm, which Božidar proved with his performances today. Already next weekend, we are expected to perform at the Linz Grand Prix 2023. Until the end of the year, Božidar will participate in several more extremely strong competitions. He will also visit some of the judo camps and we hope for the Olympic games.

Božidar Vučurević (BIH) © Dino Šečić

Five of the seven finals of today’s final block programme featured German competitors. 

Golds were won by Elisabeth Pflugbeil (+78kg), Falk Petersilka (-100kg) and Julie Hoelterhoff (-78kg).

Hoelterhoff says she assumed what could be a possible scenario in the -78kg category.

When I saw the list of participants and possible opponents, I assumed that I would meet with Marlene Galandi in the final. That’s how it was in the end, and I won with a victory that makes me extremely happy and satisfied.

Hoelterhoff admitted that due to the strong competition in Germany in the category up to 78 kilograms, she will think about the Olympic Games in 2028.

-78kg Final © Dino Šečić

Thanks to excellent performances during the second day of the competition, Germany was the most successful country in East Sarajevo (four gold, six silver and one bronze medal). They are followed by Azerbaijan (three golds, one silver and two bronzes), Slovenia (two golds, one silver), while the domestic team finished in fourth place with two golds and one bronze medal.

Judo action will be back in Bosnia and Herzegovina in September for the Sarajevo European Open 2023.


Author: Thea Cowen