This year’s Cadet European Cup was so far the strongest tournament of this age category organised in Portugal. The numbers speak for themselves: in total there are 354 athletes fighting this weekend, comparing to 197 from last year. The Miranda do Corvo Sports Hall was filled to the capacity with spectators, who had a chance to witness some great judo from our young competitors.
The first day of the tournament was dominated by the Italians, who claimed in total 6 medals and took over the podium of -50kg category. A -66kg competitor Francesco Zanasi got injured just before the final and let Luka Harpf from Slovenia take the gold of that category.
Portuguese team finished the day with four medals; one gold (Maria Siderot -44kg), two silver (Catarina Costa -44kg, Luisa Silva -48kg) and a bronze (Carolina Silva -52kg). Local judo fans enjoyed especially the final fight of the -44kg category which was a nice revenge match between Maria Siderot and Catarina Costa. Siderot, who lost to Costa a bronze medal match at last month’s Junior European Cup in Coimbra, managed this time to control the fight and guaranteed a victory by penalties advantage.
What is also worth mentioning is the presence of special guests who observed today’s fights and awarded the winners; Mrs. Rosa Mota, one of Portuguese foremost athletes, Olympic Gold Medalist in Marathon in Seoul 1988 and Vice-President of the Olympic Committee of Portugal. João Pina, consecutive European Champion in the U73 kg category at the 2010 and 2011 European Judo Championships and José Manuel Costa e Oliveira, the new President of Portuguese Judo Federation.