European judo returns to the Balkan states and to one of our most incredible event organisers, Bosnia and Herzegovina for the European Open this weekend. It is the third time that the Sarajevo tournament has the status of a continental Open. There are 263 athletes from 31 nations and even 5 continents.
The hosts are looking to collect some gold medals and have strong representatives, especially in the top three; Larisa Ceric (+78kg), Aleksandra Samardzic (-70kg) along with young sister, Andjela Samardzic (U57kg) who won the event twice before ( as a European Cup). Earlier this year, the latter took a gold medal in the East Sarajevo Senior European Cup but is now looking to a gold at the next level. In the two previous editions there were 28 different winners where France was the most successful nation winning 7 gold medals (25%).
Highest seed in Sarajevo will be Emma Reid of Great Britain fighting in the U78kg category. As for the men, eyes will be on Israel’s rising star, Yam Wolczak in the U60kg category. The 20 year old, 2022 junior European bronze medallist, went on to stun the crowds in Tashkent during the senior world championships, placing 5th.
This article was originally published on www.judoinside.com