Sofia, 1 May 2022 - On the very first day of the European Senior Judo Championships for female and male judokas in Sofia (Bulgaria), the Croatian judo won a medal owing to a 20-year-old Ana Viktoria Puljiz in the category -52kg.
The young Solin native, at the age of 20 officially still a junior, has been showing for several years that she is on her way to becoming a top judoka in senior category as well.
At the start of the tournament, Puljiz defeated Spain's Perez Box in the "golden score" with ippon, after almost 10 minutes of fighting. She also went into "overtime" with Germany's Ballhaus, who forced her into the third penalty and moved on, and the only celebration in the first four minutes of fight was in the repechage against Italy's Giuffrida, eighth in the world rankings. In the final block, she competed against a 22-year-old Israeli Primo, sixth in the world, who started aggressively, but the Croatian judoka responded in the right way. After the first attack, Puljiz used the second one for a beautiful ippon and a smile from ear to ear, as she realized she had won European senior bronze.
In addition to Puljiz, Tihea Topolovec (-57 kg) and Robert Klačar (-66 kg) performed on the first day of the European Championships as well. Both of them showed quality and good judo skills, and after their opening victories, against Hungary's Kovacs, and Switzerland's Waizenegger, respectively, they lost to medal holders who came to fight for the medals. In Saturday's program three of our hopes - Katarina Krišto and Iva Oberan (both -63 kg) and Barbara Matić (-70 kg) – stepped on tatami of the Armeec Arena, but neither one of them passed the first round.
Petrunjela Pavić (-78 kg), Ivana Maranić and Tina Radić (+78 kg), Marko Kumrić (-100 kg) and Zlatko Kumrić (-100 kg) performed on the last day of the European Championships (Sunday), and only Zlatko Kumrić achieved victory by defeating Hungary's Veg.
The Croatian Olympic Committee (NOC of Croatia) congratulates Ana Viktoria Puljiz and her coach Dragan Crnev on winning the senior bronze medal at the European Judo Championships in Bulgaria!