7 June 2024


European Judo Championships Veterans 2024


France continued to lead the overall medal table at the end of the second day of the European Judo Championships Veterans Sarajevo 2024. Hungary, however, made a strong showing, climbing up to third place following their impressive double victory at the Arena Hills. Still, there was much more to the event than met the eye.

The Endless

After 10 years and many attempts, it finally became a reality for MAKHULT Mihaly (HUN) to celebrate his first European title. This moment represented a significant milestone for him, one that he had been anticipating for an endless time. It was a particularly memorable occasion, with the M3 -81kg category final seeing him overcome David UDZILAURI (GEO), whom he had previously lost to.

It feels great to have finally achieved my goal. It was a tough day with a lot of strong opponents which was to be expected. I am also pleased that I finally had a day where I did not only win in ne-waza. Despite the hectic schedule I have with coaching and other things, today, finally, everything really and truly came together for me.

The Evergreen

Nestor KHERGIANI is a name that needs no introduction. He is the Athens 2004 Olympic Games silver medallist, double senior world medallist and double senior European champion. He retired from elite sport back in 2009. In Sarajevo, he returned flawlessly, almost as if he had never left, winning gold in the M4 -73kg category. What inspired him to come back?

I was missing fighting a lot. I love judo. I lived in the USA for a while but I came back home a month ago and decided to try this championships. I must admit it was much harder then I expected. The level was much higher than I anticipated and I also must say winning here feels like winning any of my elite medals including the senior Europeans. 

I have a great first impression of this event, I really enjoyed myself and yes I could say it is the start of a new chapter for me as I will be going to Las Vegas for the worlds. I really enjoyed myself I will surely be back and will also encourage other Georgian former judoka to join this event. 

The Freshman

It would be fair to say that the majority of the judoka attending in Sarajevo are considered regulars at the veteran Europeans. Julien SAUVAT (SUI) was competing in his second veteran European Championships, which in this field can be considered a relatively newcomer. On day two, he won his second bronze medal when acing over Octavian PATRASCU (MDA) for third place. He chose to join the veteran group for a rather special reason.

In September, my daughter will start judo and I wanted for her to see me winning a medal at this championships. It is a very strong event, but I enjoy it. I try to train 4-5 times a week to prepare for the event properly. I got drawn in now. I look forward to heading to my first veteran world championships at the end of this year.

The opening ceremony of the event was also part of the schedule where alongside Dr TOTH Laszlo, president of the European Judo Union, both Mr. Ognjen PAVLOVIC, president of the National Judo Federation of Bosnia & Herzegovina and Dr. Branislav CRNOGORAC, honorary president of the National Judo Federation of Bosnia & Herzegovina addressed the crowed. Furthermore, gifts were exchanged to symbolize the mutual appreciation between the two parties. These gifts were tokens of trust, respect and a strong partnership.

The third day of the European Judo Championships Veterans Sarajevo 2024 will have the following categories in action: F1-F9; M1, M2. You can watch all actions live online via judotv.com

Author: Szandra Szogedi