With close to 500 participants the European Championship for U-categories keep the quality alive – and the athletes are representing twenty different nations. This is really a great support!
Ukraine, Poland and Lithuania, are the three leading nations, with Bulgaria close by – if we take number of athletes into consideration. And it was in that number top three the nations was placed after last U-EC. It is nothing new about that the Eastern Europe nations dominates the number of athletes. (and in many cases the level as well)
The U-category championship has been shaped trough the years, and that with great success. The first edition back in 2009 had almost 150 athletes, divided to eleven nations. At first it was called U-22 EC and included age categories from 18 to 22. The final from 2009 in the men’s division +85 kg Florin Paul George (Romania) vs Gentile Romain (France)
The two first editions was held in Lithuania before Poland was the host in 2011. Video below: Two fighters that we all know very well – now: Maciej Mazur (Poland) vs Kęstutis Radvila (Lithuania) ⇓
But we do remember that still the junior category ( or U-18) was held together with the seniors weight category EC up to 2018 in EC Wroclaw / Poland – before gathering all the U categories in one separate championship. One can see that it has been a long way to reach a good solution and result – but that’s the way it is with everything.
Safe but sure, the EC for U-categories began to stand on it own feet. Being a part of the senior Open Weight EC was at the time right, but now it is totally an separate event. The upper age limit are pulled down from 22 to 21 year in 2018, another adjustment with a good result.
The important roll this championship brings will of course be a lot deeper than a trophy and a medal – this is the new blood coming into the organization and the one to look up to for the children in a couple of years.