10 September 2023


European Judo Championships Juniors The Hague 2023


Whoever talks about judo in the Netherlands will sooner or later not get past Hans VAN ESSEN. As an athlete, he won the Veenendaal City Championships 6 times and was also able to assert himself on the regional stage. “But from an international point of view, I simply wasn’t good enough,” says the 53-year-old. Nevertheless, he made it to the Olympic Games – as a judo info specialist, for the first time in Sydney in 2000. In Paris, Hans will again provide the biographies of the 372 Olympic judoka. “Whether I will also be used as a (Eurosport) commentator or only work for the organising committee has not yet been decided.”

The father of two has made a name for himself in the judo world with judoinside.com. The platform has been running since 2002 and he is the owner, publisher, photographer and editor in one. Wife Barbara supports him. In addition, there are a handful of volunteer photographers “who are just as judo-crazy as Barbara and me.” Not only this, but Van Essen is also a distributor of EJU Premium Partner, Ippon Gear, in both Belgium and the Netherlands.

The judo insider and data professional describes the home match in The Hague, the hosting of the Under-21 European Championships, as “an absolute stroke of luck. The Hague is a sports city with the necessary infrastructure and a judo hopeful: Joshua De Lange is a great talent, even if he was eliminated early this time.”

Hans Van Essen used all four competition days in The Hague to update his photo and info database/plattform. The journey from his hometown Veenendaal to The Hague was kept within limits. Distance: 100 km (each way). Probably it will not have been the last short trip to the city of 600,000 inhabitants. “I assume that The Hague will soon apply for a European Judo Championship Seniors.”

What Hans Van Essen noticed most at these Under-21 European Championships : “The young judo talents understand better and better these days how to use the media to their advantage. With a smile into the camera, a raised thumb, whatever. The photo of Bright Maddaloni Nosa (ITA/see below – with Igor Tsurkin/UKR) is such an example…”

Author: EJU Media