This 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 this category we have less athletes than the rest, but the merits among the fighters are really high! Some of the fighters has moved up from the under 50 kg category as mention, and is non other than the reign Champion and the vice Champion from last year!
The double EC Champion Zsófia Szabó, Hungary, retired after winning in 2016 and 2017. Last years final was a textbook technical played final, clean strong an efficient fighting. Szabó did not taken that dance alone, and her opponent also from Hungary: ⇐Veronika Nèmeth. She worked her way up from 3rd place in 2016 (not to forget that she also took the U-22 EC tittle in 2015) Veronika Németh climbed from third place to second 2016-17, and in a convincing way. Winning 1st fight against Salome Modebadze / Georgia, and in the second fight knocking out EC KWU champion and multiply WKO EC champion Rita Pivoriūnaitė / Lithuania. Németh could pick up the throne that Szabó left.
From last years podium, it is only Nèmeth who will fight this year. Diana Mačiūtė / Lithuania and Rita Pivoriūnaitė / Lithuania, was the two others on the podium. That gives us also a idea how high level the category have. All these athletes are top fighters of Europe.
Daivą Kriščiūnienę, Lithuania are the reign European Champion – but in the category below. She made a good tournament last year, won the final against Polish top fighter Sandra Nowak. Kriščiūnienę took the final in ordinary time, 3 minutes, and showed strength in the final closing the distance and infighting Nowak to victory. The question we are very interested to find out is of course: are Kriščiūnienę and Nowak still strong enough to reach the podium now in a heavier category?! Technical, yes for sure, but now the opponents could be significantly stronger.
But this is not “enough” There are two more U-22 European Champions in the category, ⇐ Skaistė Venckutė , Lithuania and Anna Bielska, Poland. Both took their EC tittle last year, 2017. Venckutė in the under 60 kg category, and Bielska in the category under 55 kg. Mark that this is the short version regarding to listing up their merits and experiences. As said, maybe not the most crowded category, but looking at the level we do believe that the champion after this day must really have it all!