29 June 2024


European Judo Championships Cadets Sofia 2024


Zuzanna BANASZEWSKA continued the trend of success for the team of Poland on day three of the Cadet European Championships, convincingly securing the gold medal in the +70kg category. The 2023 World bronze medallist went hard in her final against the 2023 European Champion Leonie MINKADA-CAQUINEAU (FRA) who was looking to defend the title, but she didn’t match the strength or condition of Banaszewska. The Polish number one seed anticipated a morote seoi nage entry from Minkada-Caquineau, countered for waza ari, and then went on to pick up two shidos. With only 22 seconds left on the clock, Minkada-Caquineau gave her all but it was too desperate a performance, which Banaszewska took advantage of, attempting an uchi mata then doubling up with harai goshi to win the European title 2024.

Not only this, by Banaszewksa secured the top place on the medal table for Team Poland!

Poland top the medal table followed by Serbia, Germany and Ukraine. © Gabi Juan

Scores waved, infractions analysed, it was a tense final contest in the -81kg category between superstars on day three, Abu-Bakr KANTAEV (AIN) and Mykhailo SOLIANYK (UKR). The highlight reel spoke for the contest, with countless close calls, but in the end, Solianyk tried to lift his opponent to his hip for an o goshi execution but Kantaev was able to steady himself and hauled back with an ura nage win.

“Look in the direction you intend to throw” Abu-Bakr KANTAEV (AIN) © Gabi Juan

Aleksandra ANDRIC (SRB) came in to the tournament with a Cadet World title to her name, and so a target on her back. Despite some pressure, she managed well and executed great technique to reach the final, and was first to score with a huge o soto gari. Opponent, Zlata SUPRUNENKO (AIN) tried to make a comeback but couldn’t find a way to match Andric, who eventually completed her cadet collection with this European title.

Aleksandra ANDRIC (SRB) © Kostadin Andonov

There were high hopes for the underdog, Majus GENYS (LTU), who defeated very strong medal contenders in the preliminary rounds, however he was no match for Dmytro LEBID (UKR). The Ukrainian athlete worked hard and fast in the -90kg final, first scoring by countering and uchi mata atttack from Genys, and then working in ne waza, getting the submission from shime waza.

Dmytro LEBID (UKR) © Gabi Juan

Marek-Adrian MASAK (EST) countered uchi mata attempt from Subhan AKHDUNDOV (AZE) to earn the first score in the final of the +90kg category. Even with this, Masak never stopped moving forward and positively looked for the second score. It was not an easy ride for the top seed of the young men’s heavyweight category and this single score was enough to bring the Estonian the Cadet title 2024!

Marek-Adrian MASAK (EST) © Kostadin Adonov


Author: Thea Cowen