The first day of the European Open in Sofia brought a set of mix goals with mix achievements across the seven weight categories. The mix line up involved having Cadet European and World champions facing World Masters, Grand Prix or Grand Slam winners. The possibility to have seven different national anthem on display today was disturb by Russia who by the end of the day claimed two of the golden moments.
To pick a highlight of the day would be very competitive, however, since we are in the Olympic year it is important to follow some of the athletes who are going for Rio. Turkish player, Ayse ARCA put on a show today in the -52kg category sending out world class athletes one after the other, including multiply Grand Prix and Grand Slam medalist, Jaana SUNDBERG of Finland. During the final against Korea’s PARK Da Sol, Arca showed that she will not settle for less than the gold today. Park was leading by a penalty until the very end of the contest when Arca pulled out a yuko worth of an attack to take the top spot of the podium. After her final she admitted that even thought her current ranking isn’t on the top of the list yet, she still has her eyes on the upcoming Rio Olympic Games.
A slightly different settings was on offer for 2015 World Masters silver medalist, Dzmitry SHERSHAN, who is rather seeking for a good seeding spot than like others, competing with the anxiety of taking a spot in Rio. The Belarussian judoka has entered the tournament by being positioned number 10 on the WRL ranking. With his winning performance and the additional 100 points he has taken with him today, Shershan has managed to move up a position. The competitivenes of Shershan lays behind the fact that throughout his five contests of today, not one of his opponents were able to score on him.