Spain delivered in the women’s categories today in Prague, number one seeds Laura VAZQUEZ FERNANDEZ (-63kg) and Ai TSUNODA ROUSTANT (-70kg) did not waver on their journeys to the final and held up their positions of top ranked. Tsunoda managed to continue her reign as junior world champion following success in Ecuador and now plans to take her first junior continental title.
She is rich in achievements, already with a cadet continental and EYOF gold, but this one has eluded her until today, but she must guarantee her win over Elena DENGG (AUT) who seems to be going from strength to strength, defeating the junior world silver medallist, Fidan OGEL (TUR) in her quarter.
Ai TSUNODA ROUSTANT (ESP)
Laura VAZQUEZ FERNANDEZ (ESP).
For the men, team Italy are celebrating finalists in both the -73kg and -81kg categories with Luigi CENTRACCHIO and Bright MADDALONI ROSA. As it happens, the pair will go up against the team of Azerbaijan.
Eljan HAJIYEV (-81kg) lost out to today’s number one seed, Arnaud AREGBA (FRA) in the junior world championships this year but scraped back to collect a bronze, today he was not going to be making such mistake. Unfortunately for the host nation, he defeated Adam KOPECKY (CZE) to take his place in the -81kg category very convincingly. Hajiyev has already made a name for himself on the senior circuit with grand slam bronze medals in Tbilisi and at home in Baku.
Hajiyev will compete for the gold after team mate, Vusal GALANDARZADE (-73kg) looks for the title first. The 18 year-old took two silver medals in junior European cup events this year, but was unsuccessful in the world championships, and now has taken his chance to step back on the podium.
The final block commences at 16:00 local time.
Author: Thea Cowen