The tenth edition of the European Cup in Sarajevo kicks off on Saturday morning. This edition with a record number of participating countries. The number of participants can be higher with 231 and 80 women but the home crowd will look forward to some of those Bosnian women who may be able to reach the medal phase.
The number of athletes though is decreasing although the event has such warm athmosphere and good but small organisation. Last year France (3), The Netherlands (2), Belgium (2) and Switzerland (2) took most of the gold medals. Who else then Aleksandra Samardžić was the last judoka from the host nation Bosnia Herzegovina who claimed a home victory in 2018. Samardžić won the tournament four times and is this time listed U70kg.
Where Bosnia had a lot of talent it’s now time to claim the more important medals. So far only Larisa Ceric was able to win precious medals at senior level. In 2017 Samardžić finished with silver at the Junior World Championships but is now a senior herself, but not yet at the level close to Olympic qualification. Same counts for Harun Sadikovic the third ace for Bosnia. The heavyweight competes in Sarajevo +100kg.
The third European Cup of the season has to set new records and gear up with a gold medal. Quite a challenge this weekend. The lightweights start on Sunday, the heavier athletes on Saturday.