At 27 years of age, Denis Vieru (MDA/-66) has been one of the European Judo top shots for years. He has been on top of the IJF ranking for quite a while and has half a dozen of Grand Slam titles to his name, including the (most prestigeous) one in Paris. However, Denis has never won a major title yet. His last European title came on 11 November 2016 in the under-23 category. Now, 2,549 days (364 weeks) later, the Moldovan is a European Seniors champion.
“My whole country has been waiting for this moment for years. This pressure of expectation has been with me – it was kind of hard to ignore it. It’s great that I finally have this gold medal, my first major title. It proves once again that I can achieve anything, it’s only a matter of time before it actually happens,” emphasised Denis Vieru. Persistence as his personal secret to success? “I have turned my hobby into a profession. I enjoy judo, the daily training as well as the competitions. Wins and successes give me self-confidence and of course that helps. Especially this European Championship title. But the key to success is definitely my strong belief. I’ll wait for my chance and make then the most out of it.”
In May, at the Grand Prix in Linz (AUT), Vieru suffered a bitter quarter-final defeat against David Garcia Torne (ESP). The fight was over after just five seconds. “When I found out today that he was going to be my opponent in the final, my first reaction was: I’m going to win this time. I was really looking forward to the fight – I am quite good in looking for revenge.”
It was Denis first victory in his third duel with the Spaniard. More to come …
Author: EJU Media