4 July 2024


Benidorm EJU OTC 2024


Here it is. The last OTC before the Paris Olympic Games 2024, and the top names have massed together to face their rivals one last time before they meet in the Arena Champ-de-Mars in three weeks.

Athletes and coaches alike are enjoying the sunny coast of Spain this week, but the Olympic Games are at the forefront of everyone’s mind. Spain’s double World Champion in the -90kg category, Nikoloz SHERAZADISHVILI has challenged himself in many areas during this qualification period, and it has all paid off,

The training camp in Benidorm is very important for me, because I’m usually in Madrid with my team, the same guys, and here I can change it up with people with different styles. The most important goal is to be ready for the Olympic Games, so I need to be on this international camp, and then I will return back to Madrid for the final preparation and I’m so excited for these Olympic Games in Paris. It has come so fast for me because it has only been three years since the Tokyo Olympic Games, and with my injury and everything, it feels like I’ve had only one year for preparation and qualification! I’m ready, I’m in good shape, ready to fight!

Aleksandar KUKOLJ (SRB) and Nikoloz SHERAZADISHVILI (ESP) © Gabi Juan

Voted Best European Men’s Coach 2023, Rok DRAKSIC took on the role of coach for the Finnish team before the end of the last Olympiad, and has since made a huge impact on the team. Now in Spain, he will be wishing he had arrived earlier…

I feel very excited, now the fun starts! We’re here in Benidorm, and it’s the first time for me, it’s great, we will be back! I mean, good weather, good sparring partners, we cant ask for more!

Like Roki, the World silver and former European Champion, Andreja LESKI (SLO) is very happy on her first visit,

It is my first time in Benidorm, so far I love it! We are really close to the sea which I love! This is of course the last training camp, our last preparation for Olympic Games on this level. It is nice to see all the faces, but we can definitely feel a little bit of pressure in the air. It’s fun to see our opponents face to face for the last time before the big moment! Looking around, I really think we are all doing a very good job and becoming ready, I think these Olympics will be at the highest level.

Coach for Team Germany, Erika MIRANDA is a six-time continental champion, World silver and four-time bronze medallist, is happy with the conditions in Spain, and believes it is a deserving final moment of preparation for these athletes who have given their all in this qualification period.

It is my first time in Benidom, and so far we have had a very good experience, the Spanish know how to welcome the athletes! We had a really hard cycle, and you have this last training camp with good weather and all the top athletes, I think it is a really good last chance to train with some of them for the Olympics and such a great experience for them!

Find the Benidorm OTC Gallery at EJU.NET.


Author: Thea Cowen