In just one and a half week, the European Championship Shinkyokushin will be held in Poland! As mention before, adding new categories has not only increased the number of athletes in the tournament – but we are looking forward to some new match up between fighters that has been in separate categories previous years. Some of the strong profiles are retired, but we are also very happy to see the next generation really steps up! And of course some “immortal” are still going strong!
This time the heaviest category will be the +95 kg, with 17 fighters from eleven nations, a very good mix of old and new blood. As we can see in several categories this year, many young merited fighters from the U-22 EC are ready to go. With the new category, and despise that we have many good fighters – non in the line up has been European Champion in weight category before in Shin EC. As we remember Eventas Gužauskas, Lithuania, has been on the podium several times and he did win the Open Weight EC in 2016. He will naturally be one of the favorites together with his very physically strong countryman ⇐Antanas Klibavičius.
Other fighters that has been on the podium in European Championship (and in many other tournaments) are a handful, and it is naturally to start with last years runner up Brian Jakobsen, Denmark. A veteran to be called, and he has been at the podium several times. A smart technical fighter, and at the time maybe the most merited fighter in the category. In the same breath, we can mention Sweden`s fighter Simon Pålsson ⇒ and Dorin Margarint, Romania. Both has good experience, been with the best, have the tools to make some impact, if not directly regarding to the final score so indirectly – because it will cost you to face them, win or loose – you will be marked!
“New” fighters that we have been following: Anatolii Zhuravel, Ukraine, will be our “first pick” He has shown great fighting, born in 1997 he is a fighter for the future. And the future could start now! Here against Maciej Mazur, Poland.
Also coming up from U-22 we have Hungarian fighters, András Dávid (U-22 EC runner up 2017) and Dávid Máté and Polish fighter Mateusz Kaptur (U-22 EC 3rd 2017). All qualified from strong full-contact nations, and fore sure well prepared. As always the draw will matter, but no doubt that the level will quickly raise as one advances in the tournament. In this category will believe that a battle between strength and technical fighting will be more visible than usual in the tournament.