In 2015, last time the EC was held in Poland, the line up had 150 senior fighters. Now the Shinkyokushin EC have expanded even more, After good growth it has become natural to add more categories, and with that the number of performers has also increased. And keeping it to the European region makes it makes it easy to measure when it comes to growth. The Eastern Europe countries has always been strong, but also others are making significant progress..
To have a little overview about the Shinkyokushin European Championship, we will give some pointers of what sets this apart from others. As we mention, this European Championship are only for the European countries. The main point is of course having a structure according to the different regions. If you do not have this, you will firstly lose an uplifting effect up in the World Championship / World Cup. But, of course, there are some different interpretations in which countries belong to the different regions.
In this case, neither Russia and Kazakhstan are members in the European region. These two countries are often to see in this region, if we look to other organizations. But one thing is how one chose to look at the different regions, another thing is how many participants one have available in the different countries – regions. As mention the EC, or other tournaments like it, do have the mission to crown the best athlete from the region.This result gives the best one the opportunity to participate in, for example, weight-class World Championship. Something again ensures quality, so you have the very best in the right place. It is also so that the World Tournaments will naturally have many interesting fights that not one can see in for an example EC or other qualifying tournaments. If you have the same line up in the qualifying tournament as in the top tournament, there will only be the name of the tournament that it different.
With almost 30 countries at the line up, 27 to be correct, one really can see that the it has been a significant growth. Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine have (as always) impressing big teams, right behind Bulgaria Romania, Hungary,Spain also with strong teams. This is not an new picture, but looking further in to it, we can see that many of the countries that for a few years back had a handful of participants, now got time with 10-15 participants! And on top of that, nations with one ore non are now represented with a handful. And keep in mind that we still only have focus on the seniors. If we had wanted to raise the number, and that only, one could added more youth and children in to it.
Georgia and Azerbaijan have been successful, as some of the countries that have done more impact at the top results. Not many years back we could see one or two fighters at the podium – now more name are to find. And as all could see in 2014 and in 2016, as organizations both made good European Championships as organizers as well. And lately Salahat Hasanov, Azerbaijan, made an historical result, winning the World Championship weight categories in 2017 MW, and Andrei Zinchenko, Georgia runner up in the LW.
Denmark was host last year, and gave us a unforgettable tournament. The organizing was at the highest level, and for sure sets the standard. But Denmark also have been working hard with their team, and looking to the North of Europe, Denmark and Sweden brings in teams with 13 participants each! Norway slowly but sure are also in with four fighters – coming back into EC last year, after some years away.
Central Europe the same, pattern and also if we move further West, France and Spain Spain into this tournament with a team of 18)(South West) have also been notable lately with high activity and good results. There is no doubt that the European region are growing.
Looking forward to EC in Poland, we know that the tournament are in good hands, and when we see how good the teams are doing their preparations – we can only be excited! An example of this are right now – the Danish fight camp with many of the national teams represented. And if we go a little back, the same thing was held in Hungary, with Bulgaria and Romania top profiles.
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