29 June 2024


European Judo Championships Cadets Sofia 2024


The third and final day of the Cadet European Championships 2024 saw the remaining weight categories go head to head for the five gold medals.

In the -81kg category, there were some incredibly close contests leading up to the semi finals. The first of the semi finals was between Abu-Bakr KANTAEV (AIN) and Kenzo CREMERS (BEL). Kantaev came in to throw with sode tsurikomi goshi, but felt the resistance and changed the direction to catch the outside leg, scoring ippon and a place in the final. He will face the powerhouse that is Mykhailo SOLIANYK (UKR), who threw Ivano DJINKIC (BIH) with a devastating maki komi.

There was a great hope for the home representative of the -70kg category, Nadie JAAFAR (BUL) who was handling her extremely tall opponent Zlata SUPRUNENKO (AIN) quite well, but a mistake was made and Suprunenko managed to secure the shime waza. On the other side of the draw, current Cadet World Champion, Aleksandra ANDRIC (SRB) took on Anna OLIINYK-KORNIIKO (UKR). Both have great technical ability, but it was Andric that executed the winning uchi mata, and she will now look to complete her cadet collection.

Dmytro LEBID (UKR) © Kostadin Andonov

In the -90kg category, a pleasant surprise came from WRL #38 Majus GENYS (LTU) who found his way to the semi final against the #8 seed, Tomass MANFELDS (LAT). The initial score for Genys was won with a huge o soto gari, and feeling the strength there, he tried to repeat the attack but Manfelds was ready. It didn’t matter to Genys who swiftly changed direction, throwing his opponent forward with harai maki komi. The Lithuanian athlete will now face Dmytro LEBID (UKR) who threw Gaya SONNTAG (FRA) for ippon with a huge o goshi.

Top seed Zuzanna BANASZEWSKA (POL) continued on her mission to represent her ranking accurately, and threw Anna PETRUNINA (AIN) with an ippon-scoring uchi mata in the +70kg semi final. Meeting Banaszewska there is number two seed, Leonie MINKADA-CAQUINEAU (FRA) who over rolled and countered a weak attack from Emma-Melis AKTAS (EST), before finishing the contest in osae komi.

Leonie MINKADA-CAQUINEAU (FRA) © Kostadin Andonov

Another top seed was a clear talent today, the +90kg Marek-Adrian MASAK (EST) and made his way to the European final by defeating Yauheni MORAU (AIN) with o uchi gari. There is still one more step to go and he may find great difficulty. Subhan AKHUNDOV (AZE) dominated his semi final against Nodar KOBALADZE (GEO), first scoring with harai maki komi, and then attempted it for a second time, but changed direction to throw backwards. A huge win for akhundov, and now he is hunting down the top seed for the gold medal.


Author: Thea Cowen