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Saturday, July 13, 2024

Austria’s Dengg follows up Polleres with European Cup gold


Big names have won the Austrian European Cup such as Stephan Hegyi, Michaela Polleres, Magdalena Krssakova, Bernadette Graf, Kathrin Unterwurzacher who were all successful with an international career.  Eight winning nations at the first day of the Junior European Cup in Graz on Saturday with a perfect day for Austrian Elena Dengg who claimed the gold medal for women U70kg. With her victory, the 18-year-old athlete from Salzburg provided the red-white-red moment of goosebumps on the first day of competition at the Junior European Cup in Graz. The last Austrian to win this category U70kg was Olympic finallist Michaela Polleres in 2017.Also another Pan American athlete took gold, America’s Karlee Carrouth impressed with her victory in the competitive category U63kg. The Americans are building a great team at junior level.A part of your family was in the hall today. How much did that help?The Raiffeisen Sportpark Graz saw that Kazakhstan opened with gold for Talgat Orynbassar U60kg. Robert Sorkin of Israel was able to catch his first major international victory in Graz by winning the class U66kg against Kazakh Zhubatkhanov.Also a Brazilian team with lots of talent such as heavyweight Katia Alves who took the gold +78kg. Brazil’s junior national team (36 active players, above all world ranking second and cadet runner-up world champion Bianca Reis/-57/18 years) flies to Graz especially for the tournament (including the subsequent training camp).Georgia’s Giorgi Loladze was fifth in Graz last year, but this time stepped up onto the highest podium U73kg and celebrated his first major victory.How are you doing now?In Graz Cup 418 athletes from 27 nation are fighting the twelfth European event of the season, only Berlin and Skopje will follow before the European Championships that take place in the Netherlands in September.On Sunday more action from Graz.No fewer than 10 junior European Championship medal winners such as Dengg, including three title holders are present in Graz. The Germans have a strong team with 68 judoka, and took gold with Mathilde Sophie Niemeyer in women’s U78kg who defeated Austria’s Laura Summer.Among the 421 athletes from 28 nations are 4 (junior) world ranking first, five second in the world ranking and two third in the world ranking, or a total of 36 judoka who appear in the top 10 of the IJF junior ranking.European Junior silver medallist of last year defeated Samira Bock in the final. Dengg: “If I think about it now: In none of the four fights, not even in the final, was I in danger of losing the fight for even a moment. Samira Bock is the reigning U-23 European champion and number 1 in the world. I knew I had to control her right arm on the grip. I managed that really well.”Dengg: “I’ll stay in Graz until Wednesday – I’ll take part in the training camp. Then we go on vacation with the family to Portugal, first a few days in Lisbon, then Madeira. I’m really looking forward to some rest and fun! After that I will focus on the highlights of the season, the European Championship and the World Cup. The two Junior European Cup victories in Graz and Birmingham give me a lot of self-confidence. So far everything is going according to plan.”Dengg: “Very, it kind of gives me a good feeling. I warmed up with my brother Jakob. Mama Christina and my great-aunt Ida were in the stands. There was never any nervousness. I really enjoyed the competition day. To be able to hear the anthem in front of a home crowd is simply wonderful. I could get used to that.”

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