28 June 2024


European Judo Championships Cadets Sofia 2024


On day two of the Cadet European Championships 2024, we welcomed Nadie JAAFAR of Bulgaria in to the commentary to discuss all things judo!

Jaafar will be competing in the -70kg category tomorrow and is in the fifth seeding position. It is arguably one of the toughest categories this week, Jafaar is also #5 in the World Ranking List so has all four ahead of her, standing in the way of her gold medal and success in front of the home crowd, but she is raring to go!

Practicing judo since she was six years old, the Sofia-based athlete has worked hard to get to where she is now, and it hasn’t been easy.

I have been going to European Cups since my first year as cadet, and it was so tough for me, but I really hope that I will take a medal in these European Championships and it will make it all worth it. I feel really prepared, and I’m so motivated, I really want to make my parents and coaches proud. I’m so happy to compete here, I am focussed and I don’t feel like it is something special to be in Sofia.

Nadie JAAFAR (BUL) won the Antalya Cadet European Cup 2024 © Demir S. Durak

Already the home crowd have demonstrated how supportive they are when their athletes step on the tatami, but Jaafar has family waiting in the wings. Though the team train together regularly, it is her younger brother who is her training partner and she warms up with her personal coach.

Jaafar already lays claim to three gold, one silver and two bronze medals at this level in the continental cups, so she is used to the preparation and feeling on the day of competition,

I don’t feel so nervous, I actually get quite excited and I like the adrenaline. In my preparation, I listen to music, I am quite calm, I warm up with my brother and he waits for me and will give me some words of support.

My brother will be first year cadet next year but he won a European Hopes medal, I went to the one in Sarajevo with him and he took a gold there. It was a really nice experience and I went on the technical session with the Kodokan experts and with Maria Centracchio, they were really nice and very patient!

We may be in the midst of the Cadet European Championships this week, but the Olympic Games are on everyones tongues,

Sometimes we get to train with the senior athletes when they are home, but they are in so many training camps and competitions that it isn’t so regular, but of course we will be supporting Ivaylo IVANOV and Mark HRISTOV in the Olympic Games this year!

What about outside of Bulgaria?

Outside of Bulgaria, my hero is Clarisse AGBEGNENOU, she is so strong and she came back after her pregnancy to win the World Championships, I like her so much!

International hero! Clarisse AGBEGNENOU (FRA) © Gabi Juan


Author: Thea Cowen