The first day of the 2024 European Karate Federation (EKF) Cadet, Junior & U21 Championships in Kumite categories erupted with electrifying action as competitors showcased their skills and determination.
In the Cadet Kumite -47kg Female final, Jana Vincic of Serbia will face off against Beyza Akkaya of Turkiye in an anticipated match. Vincic secured the ticket to the final with a 4-1 triumph against Szofia Dalnoki of Hungary, while Akkaya triumphed over Konstantina Efstathiou of Cyprus with a score of 2-0.
Moving to the Cadet Kumite Female -54kg category, Ili Hellen of Germany and Bianca Capone of Italy will clash for gold on Sunday. Hellen emerged victorious in the semifinals with a commanding 3-0 win over Nehir Kilic of Turkiye, while Capone secured her qualification to the final with a 7-3 victory against Masa Miranovic of Serbia.
In the Cadet Kumite Female -61kg division, Laura Strahija of Croatia will clash with Elize Bauld of Scotland. Strahija secured a narrow 2-1 victory over Vitoria Bazyuk of Portugal in the semifinals, while Bauld dominated with a 3-0 win against Mesude Yalin of Turkiye.
The Cadet Kumite Female +61kg final will see Una Rakovic of Montenegro face off against Dalia Dawoud of Germany. Rakovic claimed victory with a 2-0 win over Eva Livet of France in the semifinals, as Dawoud emerged triumphant with a score of 9-3 against Nicole Corredu of Italy.
In the Cadet Kumite Male categories, Gigi Alania of Georgia will meet Maksym Viechkanov of Ukraine in the –52kg final, much to the celebration of the local fans. The Georgian representative beat Vusal Ganbarov of Azerbaijan 4-1 and his rival in the final defeated Youssef Abdelmalki of Belgium 2-1.
Serhii Stankov of Ukraine is set to face Leo Lambert of France in the –57kg final after a heavily contested semifinal. Stankov upset Unai Chica Tolosa of Spain 5-3, and Lambert won the ticket over Mathis Alves Torcato of Belgium 1-0.
Vuk Vucinic of Montenegro will compete against Rayan Zoueini of Belgium in the –63kg final. The karateka from Montenegro edged Aladdin Malikov of Azerbaijan 1-1 as Zoueini beat Nikola Birac of Croatia 2-0.
Meanwhile, Ali Arnautovic of Bosnia and Herzegovina will clash with Hela Kiria of Ukraine in the –70kg final. The two athletes earned the ticket to the final following a 3-1 victory over Anes Arijaf of Montenegro and a slim 1-1 triumph over Almerico Tommasino of Italy, respectively.
Additionally, Jahangir Gayibov of Azerbaijan will face Lenny Malcoiffe of France in the +70kg final. While Malcoiffe upset Mateliunas Eirintas of Lithuania 12-3, Gayibov upset David Lanchas Vera of Spain 6-0.
With each match showcasing the immense talent and dedication of the young athletes, the first day of the EKF Cadet, Junior & U21 Championships set the stage for an exhilarating tournament ahead, promising more gripping encounters and unforgettable moments in the days to come.