28 April 2024


European Judo Championships Seniors Zagreb 2024


The final of the Mixed Team European Championships saw defending champions Georgia and 2022 champions France go head to head for the title. For France, they have had consistent strength in both the men and women’s categories for many years, with their teams winning separate medals, however the introduction of the Mixed Team event forced Georgian Judo to look seriously at their women’s programme and have flourished as a result. Not only have their mixed team won two titles but a world bronze at senior level.

In the opening contest, Paris Grand Slam winner, Faiza MOKDAR (FRA) defeated the Tbilisi champion Eteri LIPARTELIANI as a result of shido accumulation. Next up was three-time Olympic medallist and 2012 champion, Lasha SHAVDATUASHVILI (GEO) and Joan-Benjamin GABA (FRA). A golden score contest ensued and in only seven seconds, France’s -73kg Olympic selection, Gaba, scored with o uchi gari to make it a 2:0 lead for the French.

Of course it’s much easier to fight knowing you’re going to the Olympic Games, and after dealing with the loss in the semi final, I just felt that I had to win my fight in the final, and I can say I’m really happy that I made it through.

Joan-Benjamin GABA (FRA) © Gabi Juan

In the -70kg category, Mariam TCHANTURIA (GEO) was under a great pressure to perform, and defeat former European Champion, Margaux PINOT (FRA), and she did an extraordinary job to prevent her opponent from taking an easy win, though both ended up picking up two shidos each. The bout continued quite evenly, then Pinot realising her position, picked up the pace, forcing a third shido on her Georgian opponent and put her team in a very strong position of 3-0.

Once again, Olympic Champion Lasha BEKAURI (GEO) was given the task of saving the team during this Mixed Team event, however it wasn’t meant to be in the final against Alexis MATHIEU (FRA) in the -90kg category, despite many throwing attempts. It was an unfortunate end, disqualified for head diving, handing the win to France, 4-0.

Once again, France became the European Mixed Team Champions! It has been a back and forth with the French and Georgian team, maybe in 2025 Team Georgia will once again steal back the title, but for now, the French team are sitting on top.

Team Georgia © Gabi Juan


Author: Thea Cowen