27 April 2024


European Judo Championships Seniors Zagreb 2024


Not only can we boast of Olympic, World and European Champions of judo in the Arena Zagreb this weekend, but amongst the spectators, we welcome VIP of the athletics world; Ivana ŠPANOVIĆ. Ahead of her preparation for the Paris Olympic Games, the three-time and current European Champion in the long jump discipline joins us to watch the Senior European Judo Championships 2024.

Španović’s accolades certainly don’t end there, the 33 year-old is setting sights on her fifth Olympic Games this year in Paris, with her first in Beijing in 2008. Since then, Španović has entered the honour list three times for her Olympic results, finishing top eight in London and Tokyo, earning a bronze medal in Rio de Janeiro. Since Tokyo, she has also added a world title to her list of accomplishments last year in Budapest, jumping 7.14m to secure the title. Also in the Stark Arena in Belgrade, the same arena EJU held the European Club Championships in December, she won the World Indoor Championships in 2022. Though she missed this event, she did attend the Grand Prix last year in Zagreb,

Since I am involved in sport, I really love to watch and follow others, and every time I have some free time I like to go watch games, matches and championships especially! After we had the World Championships in Budapest in 2023, I came to watch the judo as it wasn’t so far to travel, and I just think if I have the free time then why not! I love the adrenaline of sport, we have a good judo team, I saw Nemanja [Majdov] today.

I was supposed to be in China competing but we decided to push back the start of the season, and since we changed I travelled this morning to come to the championships. We also have a good team in Serbian athletics, it is getting better and better, and not only at senior level but junior and the younger athletes coming through. We are very well supported in every single sport in Serbia and it is really nice to know you don’t have to be stressed about finance when you’re training and competing.

With 6 Diamond League Final wins, three consecutively, the current world ranking list #1 has held her position for 78 weeks, heading towards Paris as a ‘Hall of Fame’ athlete within this discipline and so of course we were honoured to host Španović in Zagreb.

Author: Thea Cowen