This year’s European Judo Championships 2024 kicked off in the Croatian capital of Zagreb, attracting the continent's most formidable judo athletes. A total of 427 judoka from 47 countries vied for the prestigious titles, showcasing their skills and determination on the tatami.

As anticipated, the championships were not without surprises. Established athletes faced early defeats while emerging talents made their mark by advancing to the final blocks.

On the opening day of the competition, 19 year old Dudina (AIN) secured victory in the women's under -48 kg category, clinching the European title. Reigning world champion Garrigos (ESP) reaffirmed his dominance, a seven-time medal-winner at the European Championships, adding another gold to his collection.

Francisco Garrigos (ESP). Photo courtesy of Carlos Ferreira / EJU.

Olympic champion Krasniqi (KOS) continued her winning streak, claiming gold in the women's -52 kg category, further solidifying her position in Olympic year. In a thrilling final, Georgian athlete Margvelashvili emerged victorious in the men's -66 kg category, thwarting the campaign of Turkish contender Demirel.

Margvelashvili (GEO). Photo courtesy of Gabi Juan / EJU.

The highlight of the first day concluded with Daria Bilodid's (UKR) gold debut in a new weight category, delighting the audience with her long-awaited victory.

Daria Bilodid (UKR). Photo courtesy of Emanuele Di Feliciantonio / EJU.

The second day of the European Championships saw seasoned judoka secure their titles, with Heydarov (AZE), Grigalashvili (GEO), and Matic (CRO) clinching gold medals. However, the women's -63 kg category sprung a surprise as Zachova of Czechia emerged victorious, surpassing strong competitors on her path to glory.

Zachova (CZE). Photo courtesy of Emanuele Di Feliciantonio / EJU.

The day also featured the opening ceremony, in the presence of Marius Vizer, president of the International Judo Federation, who commended Croatia for its achievements and commitment to youth development, sports and culture.

Photo courtesy of Gabi Juan / EJU.

On the third day of competition there was an amazing performance from Eljan Hajiyev of Azerbaijan, who claimed victory in the men's -90 kg category, defeating Olympic champion Lasha Bekauri on his path to gold.

Audrey Tcheumeo (FRA) secured her fifth European title in the women's -78 kg category, celebrating her victory with tears of joy. Neutral athlete Kanikovsky continued to impress, clinching gold in the men's -100 kg category. In the women’s over 78’s, the winner was Raz Hershko

of Israel.

The undisputed favourite of the tournament, Inal Tasoev (AIN), showcased his technique and exquisite judo, earning a well-deserved European title, captivating the audience.

Inal Tasoev (AIN) was on great form. Photo courtesy of Emanuele Di Feliciantonio / EJU.

The European Judo Championships 2024 is all about embodying the spirit of excellence, perseverance and sportsmanship on the tatami.

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