The 2021 EKF Cadet, Junior & U21 Championships concluded today in Tampere (Finland) with the crowning of the new promising stars of the sport in Europe. After three thrilling days of competition, Turkish karatekas topped the medal table of the event with a final tally of 17 medals including 9 golds.
In a showcase of the strength of Karate among young ages, the final day of the tournament put the Under 21 categories on the centre stage.
The quest to the medals on Sunday started with a thrilling final of the U21 Female Kumite -50kg category featuring Lili Ronai of Hungary and Asia Agus of Italy. The gold medal went to the Italian representative who scored a “Wazari” or kick to the middle body with less than one second to the end of the bout, so to win the clash by 4-1.
More countries were added today to the ample list of nations taking home medals in the tournament in a testament to the tremendous popularity of the sport in the continent. Matilda Roselind won the first gold for Sweden following an outstanding final bout in the category of U21 Female Kumite -55kg. The Swedish karateka defeated Zsofia Baranyi of Hungary by 5-3.
A slim “Yuko” is all Kimberly Nelting of Luxembourg needed to become European champion in U21 Female Kumite -61kg. The karateka from Luxembourg edged Jennifer Hillary Zameto of France 1-0 to take the first gold for her country.
In only a few seconds from the start of the final of U21 Female Kumite -68kg, Lea Vukoja of Croatia had already scored an “Ippon”. The outstanding demonstration of the Croatian karateka continued, and she took another “Ippon” and five “Yuko” to defeat Natanaele Flamand of France 9-5 in one of the most spectacular highlights of the day.