24 April 2024


European Judo Championships Seniors Zagreb 2024


On the eve of the Senior European Judo Championships 2024, the Croatian Judo team came together for a collective training session where media were invited. Hosted in the ballroom of the Westin Hotel, the coaching staff and 20-strong team were getting in to the championship mindset, minus a couple of athletes who were in the weigh in process,

There were big wins for Team Croatia in 2024, setting them up for a successful Championships in the capital City of Zagreb, one of those with tremendous accolades this year was Katarina KRISTO in the -63kg category, a silver medal in the Paris Grand Slam, and more recently a bronze in Antalya,

I am feeling good, I have prepared well in international and OTC camps, in the Grand Slams, after Antalya I didn’t have any injuries and everything is going as planned! I hope to show my best as always, I’m in my home country and I’m excited to perform, there are children coming from my club to support me and I hope to feel the excitement that they feel, and give them something to dream about.

Katarina KRISTO (CRO) © Gabi Juan

I looked at Barbara [Matic] and Zlatko [Kumric] when I was young coming here, and I was excited then, now that it’s me on the tatami, sure there is a bit of pressure but when I step on the tatami I hope it will fall away and only the good nerves will stay.

On the other end of the spectrum, one of the more experienced athletes, Karla PRODAN in the -78kg category had quite the dry spell coming in to 2024, but secured a very emotional bronze medal in the Upper Austria Grand Prix,

My medal in Austria was a long time coming, it gave me motivation for upcoming events and unfortunately I’m not qualified yet, I started qualification this year in January so I only have four tournaments left. It proved that I belong in the top of may category, where I was a couple of years ago. My preparation hasn’t been the best, picking up an injury but I hope that the crowd will give me the push and motivation that I need and hope I fight well and give my best. I know that giving my best is enough for a medal.

Karla PRODAN (CRO) and Vladimir Preradovic. © Gabriela Sabau

Women’s National Coach, Vladimir Preradovic was guiding the team through the warm up,

First of all I am very proud of the results in this period, and we hope to get a minimum of two medals this week, with this great atmosphere and everything, they’re in good shape, they will give 100%. You know the team is the same, we travel together, they have just come to a good form at the right time, especially Kristo in Paris, she was very motivated.


Author: Thea Cowen