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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

European Games mixed team event ready to host top athletes


The four seeded teams are France, Netherlands, Germany and Israel. The points collected here will also contribute towards the world ranking of each of these teams, precious points as we are almost at the one year countdown for the Olympic Games in Paris 2024.Frankly speaking that does give space to other teams. Last year’s runner-up The Netherlands have sent its frontrunner Sanne van Dijke who ran half a marathon this month, so her endurance will be good to bring the team to the final stages of the tournament. Pleuni Cornelisse will be essential for the points U57kg, she recently won the Grand Prix in Linz. Heavyweight Karen Stevenson proved to be a key asset for the Dutch as heavyweight as well as Marit Kamps, Astana’s finalist. Koen Heg U73kg should be able to bring stability in the team as the Dutch don’t have an alternative in this category. Jesper Smink will replace Noel van ‘t End who was essential at the bronze medal bout at the World Championships, together with Frank de Wit he will have an important role. Michael Korrel and Jelle Snippe could gain the match points for the team that won world bronze for the first time.A total number of 22 teams and 211 judoka will compete at this biggest sporting event in Europe. It will have an Olympic atmosphere but clearly doesn’t have the status. For an athlete though it does count as an official European title and the French will do the utmost to retain the title and have brought some of its top athletes to Poland. Among the team Sarah Leonie Cysique who is on form and recently impressed with gold at the Grand Slam in Astana, also Margot Pinot who managed to be the key figure in the French team at the last edition. The experienced Priscilla Gneto is the natural replacement of Cysique U57kg and as heavyweights Samah Hawa Camara and Stessie Bastareaud are lined up. Benjamin Axus, Maxime Ngayap and Joseph Terhec are the main teammembers that should trigger 1-2 more victories in each match.France is the number one favourite for the European Mixed team title at the European Games in Krakow this weekend. The French have won the final last year in Mulhouse in the final against the Dutch and at this multi sports events, the French will defend their European title. It’s the first of the third edition of the European Games that Judo only includes the team event. At previous two editions in Minsk and Baku the European Games were the replacement of the annual European Championships.France will face the winner of Azerbaijan vs Czech Republic. Israel is in the same half with Turkiye as first opponent. Germany  will face the winner of Spain vs Austria whilst the Dutch team will fight Slovenia in their first contest. Host Poland will meet the winner of Ukraine vs Hungary.

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