EJU Vice-President Hrvoje LINDI, who is also Secretary General of the Croatian Judo Federation, hosted the Senior European Cup and the EJU Executive Committee meeting in Dubrovnik at the weekend. Dr. Sanda CORAK, federation president, and IJF Education Director was the guest of honor of EJU President Dr. László TOTH on Saturday. On Sunday Lindi took time for a first assessment from the Croatian point of view:
How satisfied is Croatian Judo on the one hand with the course of the tournament and on the other hand with the host role in the Executive Committee?
Hrvoje Lindi: “When he took office in Vienna, EJU President Dr. László Toth advocated that these meetings take place alternately in the countries that provide members in the Executive Committee. After Vienna and Istanbul, it is now Dubrovnik’s turn. This fills us with pride. Dubrovnik was a traditional tournament even before the Croatian War of Independence. László himself took part in the tournament several times as an athlete. We want to regain this status slowly, step by step. Apart from that, there is hardly a more beautiful place in Croatia in spring and summer than Dubrovnik, with its UNESCO World Heritage status. EU summits are held in Dubrovnik, so why not an international tournament and an Executive Committee meeting? But back to the question: We are very happy with the way the weekend went. The tournament has run smoothly and the number of participants, 308, is well above last year’s figure. The Executive Committee meeting also went according to plan and was extremely constructive. We made a number of trend-setting decisions, especially in the sporting area.”
Which decisions were particularly important from your personal point of view?
Lindi: “We are relieved and of course also a bit proud that we were able to win double Olympic champion Lukas KRPALEK as chairman of the Athletes’ Commission. The new Open format in Pristina (KOS) promises excitement. The organizers are limiting themselves to two weight classes, one each for women and men. This means that the tournament can be completed within a few hours. The prize money of 300,000 euros is extraordinarily attractive. For Kosovo, it is the first EJU tournament ever. The people in charge, the athletes, coaches and the fans are looking forward to it. It will be a worthy end to the year.
An under-16 tour will also be new. How controversial was this decision?
Lindi: “We as the EJU believe that we can prepare the young people even better in this way for the challenges of competitive sport or develop them technically and educationally. We are looking forward to the new format.”
With Tina Trstenjak (SLO) an Olympic champion has passed the IJF Continental Referee Examination and will be appointed by the International Judo Federation as a supervisor with immediate effect. Does the EJU welcome this step?
Lindi: “Of course, we can only congratulate Tina on passing the exam and on her new task. We as the EJU will of course also try to make good use of her for our purposes. Top female athletes like her embarking on a career as an official is very much in the spirit of the sport. Tina brings incredible know-how to the table. Not to mention her status as a top personality. Outstanding characters like Tina do us lasting good.”
Author: EJU Media