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Finnish Puumalainen writes history at European Judo Championships

The European Judo Championship were held in Montpellier and gathered more than 100 journalists from the continent to the South of France, despite the bad weather conditions. Most of the journalists though came from France.

The event was well organised in the same hall as the European Team Championships of one year ago under the guidance of its ambitious French FFDJA President Stephane Nomis and his team as a top host.

EJU President László Toth thanked the French organisation which was the best advertisement for European judo and for Judo France. Toth: “I would say that these were the best European Judo Championships in history. We can already look forward to the next events in France, especially Paris 2024.”

EJU President László Toth and FFDJA President Stephane Nomis organised a successful Championships


The figures speak for themselves: 8 nations won at least one European Championship title, with a total of 20 countries in the medals table. Nine world number ones and 12 defending champions (from Sofia). Five athletes were able to prolong their European title.

French Olympic silver medallist Amandine Buchard U52kg, French heavyweight Romane Dicko, Marie-Eve Gahie of France U70kg, Alina Boehm of Germany U78kg and Hidayet Heydarov of Azerbaijan defended his title U73kg successfully. The competition in judo is strong and these champions have no guarantee that they will also qualify for the Olympic Games. Obviously, the French don’t need to qualify but will still have a severe internal rivalry in each weight category.

France once again took victory in the Nations Championships – with nine medals (five gold), one more than in 2022. The number of spectators was also record-breaking – with about 18,000.


The last final of the tournament was greatly anticipated, in the +100kg category. Former world and European champion, Guram Tushishvili (GEO) faced the rising star from Finland, who took the IJF World Judo Masters title this year, Martti Puumalainen.

Tushishvili was a little too enthusiastic and he offered an opportunity for Puumalainen to score a second wazari with a spinning uchi-mata. This outstanding contest concludes an unforgettable year for the Finnish European champion, for the first time since 1989, a historic moment for Finland and Puumalainen who continues to surprise.

Next year the European Championships will take place in Croatia.

Credit:  AIPS

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