14 June 2024



After three major events that took place in Sarajevo in the past few days, where over 1000 judoka paraded through this city, we spoke with the driving force of judo sports in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Dr. Branislav Crnogorac.

First of all, I would like to thank EJU and the President Dr. Toth Laszlo for the opportunity to organise these three big judo events, the Veterans Championship, the Kata Championship and the Kodokan Kata Seminar. It was very challenging for us, regardless of previous experiences, this was a special experience, I must say that it was exhaustive, because we had to meet all the criteria of these competitions, which in fact are particularly demanding.

The Judo Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina has proven to be an excellent organiser of judo competitions, given that in recent years they have organised a large number of competitions, from cadet to now veteran level. They made history by organising the Sarajevo European Judo Hopes Cup, as well as Ne-waza and Adapted Judo within the mentioned competitions in the two weeks. The result of the work is certainly the “Best of the Best” award for 2022, when the association received the award for the best technical organiser in that year.

There is an interesting story, in 2003 we organised a European Championship for the first time, and it is very interesting to point out that at that time we were declared the best technical organiser of all European championships by EJU at the congress in London. Then we realised that we have a certain talent to do big international competitions. From then until today, we have organised a large number of cups, European Open, European Championships, we have organised two U18 World Championships, in 2015 and 2022, and in 2022 we were declared “Best of the best” in the competition of all European competitions and of course we are particularly proud of that fact.

Leader, coach, father. He dedicated his life to Judo and almost everyone will mention him as the most important person for judo in Bosnia and Herzegovina. However, he will put his team first. 

Our love for judo is immeasurable, we have a trained team and considering such a large number of organized international competitions, we strive to be better every year and what is especially important is that we always give our best and we succeed in that. My judo journey has been going on for six decades, with the fact that I started as a competitor, but very quickly became the coach that I am today. I was the president of the Judo Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina for several mandates, and today I am the honorary president. Basically, no one doubts that I was the leader all that time, and of course that epithet flatters me, but I try to create a quality new event or a quality new result year after year. This year we had a large number of competitions in Sarajevo, the European Cup for juniors and seniors, for the first time the historic European Cup for hopefuls, and here we are just finishing three major events, the European Championship for Veterans, the European Kata Championship and the Kodokan Kata Seminar and Examination 2024.

In the end, Dr. Crnogorac did not hide his ambitions to continue organising major competitions in the future.

We are trying to continue the streak of success, we will not stop, it will be challenging for us if we maybe organise the World Championship for veterans next year. I believe that we will be up to the task again and we don’t know any other way except to do our best. Finally, once again, special thanks to EJU President Dr Toth Laszlo and IJF President Marius Vizer for the many years of continuous help and trust they give us.

Author: Szandra Szogedi