28 June 2024


European Judo Championships Cadets Sofia 2024


It was a morning full of surprises on day two of the Cadet European Championships, but two athletes managed to stick to their schedule, top seeds going in to their respective finals. Bogdan VELICKOVIC (SRB) and Giorgi GIVISHVILI (GEO) are hoping their ranking will be reflected on the podium with a championship gold in the -73kg and -66kg categories.

In the -52kg category, VAS Mira (HUN) was close to joining the men in their ventures but suffered fdefeat at the hands of the unranked Valeriia KOZLOVA (AIN), who countered a weak attack from Vas. Now that Kozlova has defeated the number one in the category, her next task will be to take on the number two, Monica MARTINEZ DE RITUERTO MORILLAS (ESP). The Spanish athlete had an ordeal in her semi final against Alice BERSELLINI (ITA), both claiming a waza ari each heading in to golden score, but it was some swift ne waza skills from Martinez, a juji gatame took her in to the final.

Top seed Givishvili gave a convincing performance against one of the most notable athletes on day two, Alexander MARLOV of Sweden. The latter had astounded with his huge techniques throughout the preliminaries but Givishvili didn’t give him the opportunity. Instead the Georgian athlete caught his opponent early with some ‘sticky’ ashi waza, a nice ko soto gari. There was potential for an all-Georgian final against Vasil GAMEZARDASHVILI (GEO), however Abdullakh PARCHIEV (AIN) spoiled the fun for Team Georgia. Both unseeded on this side of the draw, it was an incredible semi final, both scoring early on but it was a second sumi gaeshi from Parchiev that was the winner, he masterfully controlled the grip and threw to the opposite side, guiding his opponent with both a lapel and sleeve grip.

Giorgi GIVISHVILI (GEO) © Kostadin Andonov

Maya TOSZEGI (GER) defeated the top seed in the -57kg category, Hili ZAKROISKY (ISR) and went all the way to the final after her semi final opponent, Manon AGATI-ALOUACHE (FRA), was disqualified for head diving. Again, there could have been a chance for a single nation final, only this time for Germany had Katherina KAISER managed to win her semi final, but a first-exchange o uchi gari score from Aleksandra SHESTOPALOVA (AIN) was enough to cement her win. On this side of the draw, both were unseeded and surpassed original expectations.

Velickovic secured his final place against the #5 seed, Jasur IBADLI (AZE), scoring with a deep ko uchi, the 2023 Cadet European and EYOF bronze medallist took a step up today and has, at the least, secured a silver medal. Now the Serbian athlete will contend with the #25 in the world ranking list, Timur DAVIDOV (AIN) who devastated Aleksandrs AVDEJEVS (LAT) with ura nage in only 18 seconds.

Amelia PTASINSKA (POL) © Gabi Juan

It was first round surprise in the -63kg category as the two-time champion, Sinem ORUC (TUR) was caught unawares by eventual semi finalist, Amelia PTASINSKA (POL). This win by #30 in the WRL, Ptasinka opened up the competition, and paved the way for Polish success. In her semi final, Ptasinka came across Illaria TSURKAN (UKR). The contest was a good head to head but unfortunately ended in a head dive for Tsurkan. Hannah ZAITSEVA (POL) would have liked to meet her team mate in the final, but she attacked Viktoriia MARTYNENKO (AIN) with a weak and low uchi mata, which Martynenko countered, giving her a place in the final.


Author: Thea Cowen