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Saturday, December 9, 2023

The Hague city of international judo


At the Cadet world Spanish Aitana Diaz Hernandez claimed the gold medal for girls U48kg. The Spanish lightweights have a reputation and Diaz Hernandez promised to come to The Hague and see what is possible at Junior level.Dutch middleweight Julie Beurskens claimed the European title at the age of 18 and will defend her reputation in The Hague. Beurskens who was in the senior team of the Netherlands that captured World bronze in Doha, will be one of the future assets of the Dutch, also in the Olympic qualification for the team event in Paris. But there’s much more entertainment in the talent team of the Netherlands. Lieke Derks won European and World bronze at junior level U78kg last year and will be aiming for gold at home. She claimed a bronze medal at the Grand Prix Upper Austria in May at senior level. Silvan Bulthuis is one of the top favourites U100kg having won the European Cup in Poznan in April and Bulthuis was in the medal contest for bronze at last year’s Europeans.The Hague will deliver some fine talent from various countries such as Italy that can score in each age category and o course the Dutch at home. Let’s see if the crowd can cheer the top prospects to the medals.Azerbaijan will again try to keep the pace as they are the most appealing judo country in this moment when it comes to youth results. They have won the medal table at the Cadet Worlds and also last year at the Junior Europeans, Azerbaijan captured three European titles, all there in the men’s division, so the tone has been set for The Hague by the Azeri.Also Turkiye will have a strong team, not just at cadet level but also at junior level, they impressed with three titles last year. Heavyweight Hilal Ozturk captured the heavyweight title but she is not junior anymore. Demirel and Azak, last year’s winners can still compete.Many European top participants will arrive in The Hague, a good moment to dive into the favourites with some of the judo pundits around.Last year Tara Babulfath of Sweden won the Europeans and was world cadet silver medallist in Sarajevo. In Zagreb at the cadet world she took a bronze medal but is still a candidate for a Swedish sensation.Next week the European Judo Championships for Juniors take place in The Netherlands. With the Cadet World Championships just being finished this could deliver some fine young talent to The Hague. Also the Zagreb Grand prix showed new potential medallists for the future.

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