23 February 2024


European Judo Championships Seniors Zagreb 2024


Croatia will host the senior European Judo Championships for the first time ever this year. The event is scheduled to be held at the Zagreb Arena from 25 to 28 April. So, whilst it will be the first time hosting a senior Europeans, it will not be the first time winning one. Goran ŽUVELA won the one and only senior European Championships gold medal for Croatia in 1974, at the time, under former Yugoslavia. The first ever senior European medal, following independence, was delivered by Marijana MIŠKOVIĆ.

Marijana Mišković cheering for the team at the 2017 Europeans during team event. © Emanuele Di Feliciantonio

Mišković last competed at the 2017 European team event where Croatia won bronze. Due to an unfortunate injury, Mišković called on retirement after a very satisfying career. Today, she is a mother of three boys whilst running two of her own judo clubs: JK Tori and Yuki (judo club for special needs children). In April, she will join the audience to cheer for the Croatian team. She has also kindly took time out to chat with us about the up and coming prime event.

The senior Europeans are coming to Zagreb for the first time, what are your thoughts?

For the senior championship to come to Zagreb in the Olympic year, I think it is the greatest honour and that after all the results achieved by the new generation, it is time to win a European medal in front of the audience. And to show once again how a small country like Croatia can organize such a big event.

Croatia has a total of 10 European medals, one of which is yours. How proud do you feel being one, and not just any, to add to this tally?

I am very proud that I am part of the winners of European medals, I am even more proud that my medal in 2009 was the first historic medal for the Republic of Croatia. From then until today, the alliance has grown, the conditions are much better and thus the results are greater. But the first historical one is always remembered, and I can say that I have started a chain of top senior results.

Europeans 2009 Tbilisi: bronze for Mišković. © Marina MAYOROVA

What was it like for you to compete front of the home crowd?

In 2013, I competed for the first time in front of a local audience at the Grand Prix in Rijeka, and that was something truly special. Apart from the fact that I won a medal then, that day I realized that I wanted to work with children with developmental disabilities. I was able to share my medal and happiness with the members of JK Fuji who came to see me then, and from that day I knew that working with children with disabilities would be a part of my life.

Advice for the Croatian team? 

My advice for all the competitors of the Croatian Judo Federation who will perform at the European Championship is to enjoy every moment, to leave their hearts in the martial arts, whatever the result, we will all be proud of them because we are all one big family. Be proud.

2015 Zagreb Grand Prix. In blue: Marijana Mišković. © Marina MAYOROVA

Croatian judo in three words? 

Yes, we can!  

Touristic tips for visitors? 

Croatia is, in itself, a very interesting tourist country. I live in Split, a beautiful city, we say the most beautiful city in the world, so I would recommend it to everyone. Yet, there are very wonderful cultural places in Zagreb, so everyone will find a place for themselves. For me, the Nikola Tesla museum is one of my favourite places and I visit it very often with my family. 

Croatia is frequently organising high class judo tournaments and there is no doubt that the Europeans in Zagreb will be another top-notch event delivered. This spring will bring tens of thousand of spectators to the Zagreb Arena.

Don’t miss it! Click here to book your tickets now!

Author: Szandra Szogedi