It was election day for European Judo at the Extraordinary Congress in Vienna on Friday afternoon. About 110 guests from 49 nations were present, so was IJF President Marius Vizer. Dr. László Tóth (HUN) was elected as President of the European Judo Federation (51 member assocations, 2,3 million judoka), Martin Poiger (AUT) was confirmed as General Secretary, Envic Galea (MLT) as General Treasurer. The term of office will end in December 2024.
„It’s an enormous honour to be the eleventh president of the EJU. I strongly believe, that we are gathering the best team for European Judo in order to secure the successes of our national federations. We currently have five Olympic and eight World champions. We are eager to consolidate this strong position at the upcoming top events. We are all looking forward to the Olympic Games 2024 in Paris, when France will try to defend their Mixed Team title. Judo in Paris will be for sure a special highlight“, emphasized Dr. László Toth (HUN). Asked about the main topics for the next months, the 62 year-old businessman said: „Our main focus is to secure a close cooperation with the International Judo Federation. Content-wise we will be discussing sports and education matters first.“
„Dr. Lászlo Toth is the perfect fit for being EJU President. He organised more than 20 prime Judo events for Hungaria in the past 20 years. The Hungarian Judo Association is a role model for many other countries and federations“, said interim president Otto Kneitinger (GER).
The 62 year-old sports diplomat has been the head of Hungarian Judo Association for more than 24 years, the EJU General Treasurer and a member of the Executive Committee since 2002. Hungarian Judo has won three Olympic medals, 16 World Senior Championship titles and 54 European Senior Championships under his presidency.
Facts & Figures about Dr. László Tóth and the European Judo Union Extraordinary Congress, Vienna:
- Dr. László Tóth was born on 28 February 1960, Dan grade: 7th, graduated at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, Faculty of Law, best results as an athlete: 5th place at Universiade 1985 in Kobe (JPN), 2-time Hungarian Senior champion (1985, 1987), President of the Hungarian Judo Association (since 1998), Member of the Hungarian Olympic Committee (since 1998).
- 49 out of the 51 member federations were taking part at the Extraordinary Congress, only Monaco and Estonia were unable to attend. Overall 28 JF presidents, 11 JF vice presidents and 3 JF General Secretaries were present. IJF President Marius Vizer (AUT) attended the meeting as a honorary guest.
- 9 out of the total 16 members of the EJU Executive Committee are newly elected: Kristiina Pekkola (SWE), Urska Zolnir Jugovar (SLO), Sergei Aschwanden (SUI), Envic Galea (MLT), Sezer Huysuz (TUR), Agron Kuka (KOS), Moshe Ponte (ISR), Ronnie Saez (GBR) and Jacek Zawadka (POL).
- Top class: Urska Zolnir Jugovar won the gold medal at the London Olympic Games 2012 (and a bronze medal in Athens 2004), Sergei Aschwanden gained a bronze medal in Beijing 2008, Moshe Ponte was responsible for 4 Israeli Olympic medals (1992 as head coach, 2016, 2020 as president), Kristina Pekkola is a 4-time Nordic and Scandinavian champion, Sezer Huysuz a 2-time Olympic Games participant (2008, 2012) and Ronnie Saez a former World Veterans champion (2002).
- EJU Executive Board (16 members) is composed as follows: President: Laszlo Toth (HUN), General Secretary: Martin Poiger (AUT), General Treasurer: Envic Galea (MLT). Executive Committee team: Otto Kneitinger (GER), Senior Vice President/Vice President Marketing, Hrvoje Lindi (CRO), Vice President Sport, Sergei Aschwanden (SUI), Vice President Education, Catarina Rodrigues (POR), Head Sport Director, Sezer Huysuz (TUR), Sport Director, Agron Kuka (KOS), Sport Director, Urska Zolnir Jugovar (SLO), Sport Director, Alexandr Jatskevitch (LAT), Refereeing Director, Alexandr Nagibin (UKR), Marketing Director, Jacek Zawadka (POL), Marketing Director, Ronnie Saez (GBR), Education Director, Kristiina Pekkola (SWE), Education Director, Moshe Ponte (ISR), Development Director.
- The elections became necessary after the resignation of Sergey Soloveychik (RUS) on 27th of February – due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. A couple of days later also General Secretary Ezio Gamba resigned.
- The 11 Presidents of the European Judo Union: 1949: John Barnes (GBR), 1949 – 1952: Aldo Torti (ITA), 1952 – 1957: Jaap Nauwelaerts D’Agé (NED), 1957 – 1960: Heinrich Frantzen (GER), 1960 – 1984: André Ertel (FRA), 1984 – 1996: Kurt Kucera (AUT), 1996 – 2000: Frans Hoogendijk (NED), 2000 – 2007: Marius Vizer (AUT), 2007 – 2022: Sergey Soloveychik (RUS), 2022: Otto Kneitinger (GER), 17 June 2022 – : László Tóth (HUN)
Author: EJU Media