Poland secures 2024 European Junior Taekwon-Do Championships. ETC - LUBLIN 2024

The home team excelled in the U-18 category to win the 29th AETF Junior European Taekwon-Do Championships 2024 in Lublin. Ukraine did the same in the inaugural Pre-Junior event.

The tournaments are gradually coming to an end, and this Saturday a packed stadium had the pleasure of witnessing the crowning of the locals in the junior category. The national anthem echoed through the University of Medicine Sports Centre, with the crowd and, more importantly, the athletes singing along and celebrating their successes, adding to the excitement of the spectacular tournament organised by the local federation.

On an overcast afternoon in south-east Poland, Team Poland added a few more medals to their tally to finish with 22, including eight gold, five silver and nine bronze, almost doubling the tally of their nearest rivals (Ukraine, Ireland and Romania finished with 13 medals each).

The Ukrainians had to settle for second place, having won one less gold medal than their Polish counterparts. It was a commendable tournament for the Ukrainian juniors, who doubled the gold tally of third-placed Ireland (three+five+five), although both nations finished with a total of 13 medals.

Ukraine's gold medals in the women's team (Korolovych Mariia, Tretiak Iryna, Krysevych Polina, Tomenchuk Dariia, Myronenko Kateryna, Pryimak Lidia) and men's junior sparring (Lypovetskiy Denys, Mirutenko Artem, Lys Oleksiy, Yevsieiev Ivan, Leleykin Savelii and Samburov Artem) were not enough to overtake the home team, who held a comfortable lead until the final moments.

In the pre-junior division, Ukraine won the 1st AETF Pre-Junior European Taekwon-Do Championships 2024 with a clear lead. With a total of 23 medals, including nine golds, the Ukrainians left well positioned for the future in Taekwon-Do. 

Only Ukraine had more gold medals than Romania (five) and Poland (three), who shared the podium in the 12-14 category. In the younger category, Romania finished second with 16 medals and five golds, while Poland rounded off a great tournament with a third place finish. 

This is the first and third place for Poland in the junior and pre-junior categories, showing the strong presence of the martial art in the host country of the three simultaneous tournaments. In the youth categories, Ukraine took first place in the youngest category and second place in the 15-17 age group. 

The day ended with the prize-giving and closing ceremonies with dances, singers and a festive atmosphere. As well as competing, the youngsters enjoyed a week full of martial arts that they will remember for a long time 

With both youth tournaments over, attention now turns to the senior finals, which begin this Sunday at 9am at the Medical University of Lublin, where Europe's best in Taekwon-Do will compete for ultimate glory.

The final day begins with Norway (three+three+one) leading the medal tally as they did on the first day of the senior competition, regaining the position from Romania (two+one+five) at the end of the first half of the day. Selma Li played a crucial role, taking the lead in the Individual Female Pattern 2nd Dan, overtaking Sweden's Ellen Sjoberg.

As every day, the action will start at 9am, although the first final of the day will be held at 12pm in the Team Female Junior Sparring category, just before the end of the first half of the final day, when the glory of the 38th AETF European Taekwon-Do Championships 2024 will be decided.