30 June 2024


European Judo Championships Cadets Sofia 2024


Despite their best efforts, Germany and Netherlands fought for the first of the bronze medals in the Cadet Mixed Team Championships 2024, missing out on a position in the final.

With wins from Konstantin DISTEL (-81kg/GER), Xanne VAN LIJF (+63kg/NED), Dwayne KOREVAAR (+81kg/NED), Charlotte NETTESHEIM (-48kg/GER), Demetre MAKALATIYA (-60kg/GER), team Germany needed one final point. Sara-Tamar WOLSFELD (GER) had the support of her team, needing only one more point for the win, but the Dutch delegation matched it, hoping that Kaya PANNEGIETER (NED) would take them to a 3:3 draw. With only 33 seconds left on the clock, Wolsfeld attacked with uchi mata and doubled up with ko uchi gari as Pannegieter almost stepped off, scoring waza ari. She managed the contest very well and held off her opponent for the German win.

Demetre MAKALATIYA (GER) © Gabi Juan

A special mention for the current -48kg Cadet European Champion, Nettesheim of Germany in this round, after a gruelling six minutes and 45 seconds of golden score. During the medal ceremony, her team nominated her to accept the team trophy.

It was so long and tiring but it’s a special thing to win for your team, and the atmosphere really helped!

On the adjoining tatami, it was a fierce head to head between the mixed team of Georgia and the most successful team in the individual competition, Poland.

Points were scored for both sides by; Saba SONGULASHVILI (-81kg/GEO), Zuzanna BANASZEWSKA (+63kg/POL), Giorgi GELASHVILI (+81kg/GEO), Barbara TWAROSWKA (-48kg/POL), and Jakub KUROWSKI (-60kg/POL). With the last point coming from the -60kg silver medallist, Kurowski, Team Poland needed only one more point to take home the bronze medal.

Team Poland © Gabi Juan

The pressure was on Hanna ZAITSEVA (POL) who narrowly missed out on an individual bronze in the -63kg category this week, and an initial waza ari was scored with o uchi gari. Still with two and a half minutes left on the clock, it seemed far from over, and Mariam NATELAURI (GEO) evened the scoreboard with a driving o uchi gari of her own. With only 15 seconds left on the clock, a devastating ko soto gake from Zaitseva won the medal for Poland, and huge celebrations ensued!

You can’t always win the medal I suppose, but today I really felt like I earned it. It was also really important, as you saw, to win that point for my team.

Hanna ZAITSEVA (POL) © Kostadin Andonov


Author: Thea Cowen