A couple of days ago the start list for this years Branko Bošnjak Memorial was released. Once again this sails up to be a very interesting tournament. With ten nations – and that from some, or to be accurate: the strongest nations in Europe. Hungary, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Greece, Sweden, Poland, France, Austria, Spain, and of course the home fighters from Croatia.
A interesting mix of fighters are ready, and as a little extra excitement some of the fighters are competing in a higher weight class than we are use to see them.
Last edition had several nations on the podium. In the women’s category we saw winner from Spain, Eider Cardeñosa -50 kg , Hungary, Veronika Nemeth -55 kg, Hungary, Kovács-Leiter Anett, Bulgaria, Ivanka Deleva -65 kg and France, Camille Haddouche +65 kg.
One of the reign champions who will fight this year is Eider Cardeñosa, Spain, but moving up an division since last year, and will fight in the -55 kg this year. In the 50 kg category, three fighters will (if usually practice are used) all fight each other to be the champion. In the -55 kg category we have several names that attracts our attention. Lithuania with two fighters, Erika Žeburtovič and Ivona Koreckaja – both reached 3rd in this years EC (-50 kg) – so this means that the standard for this category will be very good. Poland with the same level: Anna Bielska, runner up in this years EC in the -55 kg. To top this Bulgaria brings in EC Champion from 2016 Violeta Litovska.fighters Poland, Hungary, Austria, Croatia and Sweden.
The under 60 kg category have Spain, Hungary and Poland. Eszter Kovács, runner up from last year, vice champion from U-22 EC in 2017 will be the heaviest name, up against Natalia Wodka and Ewa Jabluszewska – Poland and Lili Mezö – Hungary, and Spanish fighter FERNANDEZ MAITANE.
Moving to the heaviest category over 60 kg, several fighters with strong merits will face each other. Top names Magdalena and Brigita Gustaitytė – Lithuania, top spots in more than one good tournament this Autumn – Swedish Open, European Cup in Hungary. Kristina Kojundžić, home-fighter with good experience, Seregély Gyöngyi, Hungary, EC U-22 champion from 2016. Sweden with Sanne Larsson, just coming off a good result in the Kyokushin Union EC, shows that she will be counted in.
In the men categories, we do also have fighters with top spots moving upwards in the weight system. In lightweight – 65 kg Lithuania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Poland are represented, all strong nations. Poland with their U-22 EC champion Daniel Sternik will be a favorite. Lithuania with three fighters – up and coming boys, also Bulgaria and Hungary’s fighters are in that direction.
Under 75 kg with six nations seems to be a tough category. 3rd place holder from EC, Milad Samizade, Sweden, continues to fight in the higher division, after reaching the final in Swedish Open, he is ready for more. Also doing a good job in Swedish David Fabek, Croatia – reaching 3rd. Experienced fighter from France: Alexis Warth. Bulgaria and Hungary with two fighters and Croatia in with three. Also Spain are represented in this category, which makes it very interesting.
Under 85 kg reign champion Tamás Popovics, Hungary, will for sure defend his tittle. Including Tamás Popovics, Hungary have four fighters in the category. Lithuania, Sweden, Bulgaria, Poland and Croatia fills out rest of the category – in total eleven fighters. from the podium last year, Popovics is the only fighters that enter this year. – well Bregström enters the tournament but in a category higher.
Over 85 kg. As mention above, last year runner up in the -85 kg category, now into the heavier division. Also in this category Hungary got four fighters. Andreas and Adam David – both on the podium in EC this spring, but in significant higher weight-classes (-95 and +95 kg) But the category have fighters closer to the lower limit also, we mention Bergström, Sweden, fresh of Swedish Open and reign U-22 champion. Poland with their fighter Jakub Tecza do also have his merits from under 85 kg, as last EC where he manage to take the third place.