On a spectacula Sunday, the Krynica-Zdroj Arena in Poland set the stage for the third day of Taekwondo at the European Games 2023. Four categories, two each for men and women, saw athletes give their all to secure the much-coveted continental title, second in importance only to the Summer Olympic Games scheduled for 2024 in Paris. It’s crucial to note that the competition awards significant points towards the Olympic ranking, with 40 points going to the winners.
In the Women’s Under 62kg category, Sarah Chaari of Belgium took home the gold, demonstrating her extraordinary skill and determination. The silver medal went to Petra Stolbova of Czechia, while the bronze medals were awarded to Jolanta Tarvida of Latvia and Aaliyah Jadine Powell of Great Britain, who showcased remarkable prowess.
The Women’s Under 67kg category saw an exceptional display of Taekwondo from gold medalist Aleksandra Perisic of Serbia. Spain’s Cecilia Castro Burgos put up a great fight to secure the silver medal. The bronze medals were won by Natalia D’Angelo of Italy and Magda Wiet Henin of France, both of whom delivered compelling performances.
In the Men’s Under 74kg category, Zurab Kintsurashvili of Georgia stood atop the podium, with Nedzad Husic of Bosnia & Herzegovina taking silver. Daniel Quesada Barrera of Spain and Stefan Takov of Serbia each earned a bronze medal, capping off an intense and thrilling competition in this weight category.
In the Men’s Under 80kg division, Denmark’s Edi Hrnic emerged victorious, bagging the gold. The silver medal was won by Richard Andre K. Ordemann of Norway. Huseyin Kartal of Turkey and Apostolos Telikostoglou of Greece exhibited exceptional skill and determination to each take home a bronze medal.
The European Games 2023 continues to be a brilliant showcase of Taekwondo talent from across the continent, with athletes giving their all for the chance to climb the podium and inch closer to their Olympic dreams. As we look ahead to the Summer Olympics in Paris, these European Games have proven to be an exciting preview of the competition to come.
Galley: Photo Roberto Zazzara