In just one 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!
In 2016, this category under 50 kg for women was added. And it was easy to see that it was a good move. Before this the -55 kg category was the lightest, and adding this new category made us see new fighters shine. Of course regarding to the WKO/EKO organisation that the number of athletes is large enough to make a new category as this, and that is a important point. If you weigh under 50 kg a under 55 or under 60 kg category could be to much, facing fighters slimming down from + 60 kg. And not to forget many of the nations have fighters in all categories and can support with a larger number of fighters i total.
This year we got 14 fighters, and we got a little of the same pattern as the men`s divisions – established and new athletes. From last year, the champion and the vice champion has
moved up to next category, but strong fighter are ready to fill the places. And not to forget the 2016 Champion from Bulgaria, Violeta Litovska are in. Litovska well known since she have proven her skills in several international tournaments, vice World Champion in 2015, fighting in – 55 kg, and recently the runner up in the Diamond cup in -57 kg. Keeping this level in higher weight-categories tells us that Violeta Litovska will be a hard nut to crack for anyone in the category.
Poland have many strong fighters, and especially when they organize the championship. Poland had two fighters on the podium last year, one moved to a higher category, the other one, Monika Podora are ready to go. Podora reached 3rd place last year, showing good results and winning the Polish qualifying tournament. In the final she beat a another Polish fighter: Paula Malikowska. Malikowska also in this category, and do also come into the tournament with good merits and experience. Been on the podium in U-22 EC, U-22 Champion in 2013 – and maybe she get the chance to pay back her loss in the U-22 EC final against Violeta Litovska back in 2014!
Timea Berencsi, Hungary have a similar background, or merits included strong Kata performance as well. Going through the junior and U-22 with great results, in Kumite as well as Kata. Also awarded most technical fighter in the U-22 European Championship in Bulgaria 2016. No doubt that she is ready for the senior level – that said, it is all ready proven, taking 3rd place in the highly regarded European Open Szolnok Cup 2017.
Lithuania has been a very dominant nation, not only in this category, but in total. It has flatten a little bit out, but still very strong fighters will reach for the top possessions. Last years 3rd place winner, Erika Zeburtovič with her team mate Ivona Koreckaja will bland inn for sure. Koreckaja did win the Lithuanian championship this year, and have been through the U-22 category for some time ago. Already back in 2011, she took the U-22 European Championship tittle, and keeping the level seemed to be a reality.
The category are being dominated by Lithuania, Poland, Bulgaria and Hungary, but Spain has manage to wedge in between, latest in 2016 with Eider Cardenosa at the 3rd place. She has been active in tournaments, and kept sharp – how sharp will the time show us. A another interesting fighter is ⇐Alona Veresniak, Ukraine. Winning the European Open Szolnok Cup 2017, did also make it to 5th place in the IFK World Championship, in the under 60 kg category. Did also made it to the podium, 3rd place in the KWU European Championship back in 2016.