Estonia for the first time welcomes both men and woman at the European Open in Tallinn. „This is very special for us and also a big honour that we have male and female judoka here in Tallinn“, Toni Meijel, the project manager from the Estonian Judo Federation said. Last year the European Open was only for men.
Among the 247 athletes from 29 nations there is last year’s winner in the under 81 kg, Neal von de Kamer (NED), who has a good chance to retain his title. Furthermore, both silver medalist from last year Jan Gosiewsi (-73 kg) from Great Britain and Aigars Milenbergs from Latvia (90 kg) are back in the Baltic city. And there are also two bronze medalists from last year: the Israeli Or Sasson (-100 kg) and Aliaksei Ramanchy (-73 kg) from Belarus. The Estonian Team is there with 18 athletes. „Judo in Estonia has a big acceptance. Judo is definitely in the first top ten sports“, Toni Meijer said. „But since the time with Indrek Pertelson and Aleksei Budolin we haven’t had such big stars in our country again. But hopefully we can come back to that point soon. For this reason, this tournament is a good start.“ The nations with the biggest entry are Russia and Israel. Both teams participate with 25 judokas.
Watch all the photos from Tallinn in our photo gallery: http://www.eju.net/media/?mode=showEvent&id=1847