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Judoka Mircea Croitoru
At the end of last week, Poland’s capital Warsaw hosted the European Judo Open, a competition on the calendar of the international specialized federation. The competition gathered 429 athletes from 43 countries, not only from Europe, but also from other continents. Eight athletes from Romania, six men and two women participated. Mircea Croitoru had the best performance, winning the gold medal in the +100 kilogram category. It has been the most valuable Romanian performance in the senior competition in recent days, so Radio Romania International designated Mircea Croitoru the Athlete of the Week.
In Warsaw, 24 athletes were registered in the +100 kilogram category contest. Mircea Croitoru directly entered the round of 16, where he defeated the German Daniel Udsilauri. In the quarterfinals, he defeated the Montenegrin Anto Dubreta, in the semifinals he won against the Moroccan Mohammed Lahboub, to finally defeat the Slovakian Marius Fizel in the final. Of the other Romanian athletes in the competition, the best placed was Alexandra Pop, who took 5th place in the 48 kilogram category.
Mircea Croitoru was born on August 15, 1996, in Bacău. He started practicing judo at the age of 8, as he was encouraged by his father. Under the guidance of coach Aurel Chelariu, he obtained his first performances. In 2013, in Tallinn, Estonia, he won a bronze medal at the European Championships for cadets in the 90-kilogram category. He was part of the Romanian delegation at the Rio Olympic Games in 2016, as a training partner. He has won, over the years, several competitions from the International Judo Federation calendar, but the victory in Warsaw is the first one obtained in a European Open. (LS)
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