The 2023 EKF Cadet Junior & U21 Championships started today in Larnaca (Cyprus). The first day of the competition had Kata and Cadet Kumite categories taking the stage and showcasing the strength of the sport at young ages.
ITALY AND TURKIYE PREVAIL IN KATA
Two representatives of top nations of the sport will clash in the final of Cadet Kata Female. Roberta Dominici of Italy and Shirley Jay of Germany will compete for the title.
Meanwhile, in Cadet Kata Male, the final will see Mustafa Akgul of Turkiye and Luigi Di Rubba of Italy fighting for the crown.
Powerhouse nation of Italy will also have participation in U21 Kata Female with Elena Roversi competing for gold against Chiara Manca of Belgium.
The crown in U21 Male Kata will go to either Alessio Ghinami or Enes Ozdemir of Turkiye.
Kata dominating country of Spain will also have more representatives in the finals as Ivan Martin and Paola Garcia Lozano qualified for the title-deciding bouts in Junior Kata Male and Junior Kata Female respectively. Their rivals are William Tran of Sweden and Rebeca Mrazova of Slovakia.
France against Portugal in Kata Team Cadet and Junior Female and Italy against Spain in Kata Team Cadet and Junior Male completed the finals in the Kata divisions.
THRILLING CADET KUMITE COMPETITION
Italian athletes extended their successful performance to the Kumite categories. Ludovica Legitimo reached the final of Cadet Kumite -47kg against Emily-Chiara Drehmann of Germany as Samuele Burrosi did the same in Cadet Kumite Male +70kg against Lukas Bohunicky of Slovakia.
Spanish representatives also made it to the title-deciding bouts in Kumite, with Julia Just Clopes qualifying for the final of Cadet Kumite -61kg. She will fight for gold against Maria-Antonia Zamantza of Greece.
The final of Cadet Kumite -54kg will have Gulay Orujova of Azerbaijan and Alexandra Zeumerova of Slovakia clashing for the title while Amalie Hakova of the Czech Republic and Dariia Bulay of Ukraine compete for the crown of Cadet Kumite Female +61kg.
Belgium celebrated two finals in Kumite, since Matt Rombeaux reached the title clash of Cadet Kumite Male -52kg against Lovro Maslov of Croatia, and Rayan Zoueini followed suit in Cadet Kumite Male -63kg against Benjamin Packwood of Scotland.
Two of the most promising athletes in the continent, Robin Mateo Zuniga of Germany and Hela Kiria of Ukraine will fight for the crown in Cadet Kumite Male -70kg while Mate Toth of Hungary and Ali Arnautovic of Bosnia and Herzegovina surprised their rivals in Cadet Kumite -57kg.
The competition continues Saturday with the rest of the Kumite categories. The finals are scheduled for Sunday.