Romania takes the lead at the 2024 European Taekwon-Do Championships. ETC-Lublin2024

On Saturday, after the All Europe Taekwon-do Federation (AETF) Congress in Lublin, the three simultaneous championships of the best European taekwon-do started early. Romania topped the medals table with 5 medals in just over three hours of senior competition.

In the morning, bright and early as usual, the competitions began at the Medical University of Lublin. Seniors made their debut in categories such as Individual Female Pattern 4.-6. Dan, Individual Male Special Technique, Individual Female Power Test, Mixed Pre-arranged Sparring and others of the 38th AETF European Taekwon-Do Championships 2024.

Before the break for the award ceremonies, Romania took the lead from Norway on the opening day of the senior men's and women's teams.

Five medals in less than four hours of competition, two of them gold, saw Romania, one of the top contenders, climb to the top of the medals table.

The gold medal in the individual women's event was won by Amalia Teodora Codreanu, who beat Hungary's Veronika Kosztyu in the final. In the team events, the Romanians won the Men's Special Technique thanks to the outstanding performances of Vacariu Vlad, David Mario, Nicoara Radu, Chiriac Andrei Ionut, Fratian Stefan Cosmin and Iordachi Dumitru.

The two gold medals put them ahead of Poland, who have 7 medals (1+2+4) but only one gold after the first half of the important day for the seniors in Lublin.

Decisive Moments in Lublin. ETC-Lublin2024
Decisive Moments in Lublin. ETC-Lublin2024

The juniors, a little further along in the competition, began to have decisive moments in the fight for the 29th AETF Junior European Taekwon-Do Championships 2024. Poland continued to lead the way and their anthem was played frequently during the awards ceremony, as well as being applauded by the crowd for each of their athletes' achievements. Twenty medals and 8 golds gave them the top spot in the under-18 championships.

In the Pre-Juniors, taking part in this type of championship for the first time due to a change in the ITF rules allowing them to participate, the Ukrainian neighbours emulated the Poles and further extended their lead over Romania, their immediate rivals. Two more gold medals at the start of the day took their tally to 23, nine of which earned the top spot on the podium next to the specially designed rings for the triple tournament on Polish soil.

By midday, the Ukrainians' lead over Romania and Poland (second and third) was monumental, as between them they failed to match the 9 gold medals won by the medal leader, leaving them in contention for second place in the overall medal tally.

The best is yet to come in Poland, the finals that will crown the new European champion on one side, the champions of their respective countries will begin to face each other in decisive moments in what remains of the day and tomorrow, ensuring a very high level in the ninth most important city in Poland.