26 April 2024


European Judo Championships Seniors Zagreb 2024


The DJ played her favourite song, Barbie Girl by Aqua, and the hall went wild. In the stands the Matic family (parents, sister Brigita) were in each other’s arms. Down below, the newly crowned European champion and local hero Barbara MATIC clapped her hands with the fans. The 29-year-old then gave her first winner interviews.

After three European Championship bronze medals, that was a gold medal with an announcement – and in front of a home crowd to boot, how does that feel?
Barbara Matic: “I’m extremely relieved and happy. The crowd carried me to success in the final. I wanted this gold for them. After the two World Championship titles, I have fulfilled my next sporting dream. European title at home – CHECK! Now there’s only one goal left: Olympic gold. And I do know that I’m on the right track.”
Did you ever doubt your success today?
Matic: “Yes, in the semi-final against Ai Tsunoda Roustant it was really close. I lost to her twice recently, in Baku and Budapest. And the fight went to the golden score again: I thought to myself: Please, not just bronze for a fourth time! After 6:30 minutes it was over, she got the third shido. And I was in luck!”
What does European Championships title mean for Paris now?
Matic: “That I’ll be travelling to the Olympic Games with even more confidence. I’m ready for gold – I know that. But I’m not thinking about the Olympics until tomorrow, today we’re celebrating with the team!”

Author: EJU Media