Rafael Aghayev's 11th title, Burak Uygur and Elena Quirici's double golds, Sandra Sanchez Jaime and Damian Quintero's fourth consecutive title, Anne-Laure Florentin's invincibility, Lucie Ignace's triplet... The 53rd European Championships held in Novi Sad (May 10th-13th) in brief and stats...

By Ludovic Mauchien / Photos : K-Photos


11 = 1. Eleven titles, one record ! That’s Rafael Aghayev’s achievement. He was already the record holder of the number of individual World titles (5), the Azerbaijan’s fighter broke once more his own record by winning an 11th title in Novi Sad. But he still has one to go for : the 13 titles of Italy’s Luca Valdesi in Kata. In Kumite, France’s Alexandre Biamonti won 9 titles, Finland’s Sari Laine 7, Spain’s Egea and Netherlands’ Van Mourik 6, and England’s Wayne Otto 5.

Turkey power 7. The Turkish fighters won a seventh title for their country, the fourth one in five years. They are just behing England (8 titles between 1967 and 1992). The record is held by France (19 titles between 1966 and 2016).

Lined in gold. France's Anne-Laure Florentin (+68 kg), Turkey's Burak Uygur (-67 kg), Spain's Sandra Sanchez Jaime and Damian Quintero (Kata), the Italian female team and the Spanish men's team in Kata, as well as the Turkish Kumite team retained their continental title.

Lined in gold (bis). Turkey's Burak Uygur (-67 kg) and Switzerland's Elena Quirici (-68 kg) are the heroes of this championship. They both won two gold medals, in individual categories and with their national Kumite team.

The winning trifecta. Spain, Italy and Turkey are the top three winners of European Karate, Kata and Kumite combined. These three countries trusted the nations’ podium in 2014, 2017 and 2018. Only France (3rd in 2015, 1st in 2016) and Azerbaijan (3rd in 2016) have broken this hegemony. This year, Spain (3 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze) is ahead of Turkey (3, 1, 6) and Italy (2, 3, 5).

Turkey, N°1 in Kumite. In combat, the podium is quite different. Turkey (3 gold, 3 bronze) is the queen of Europe, ahead of France (2 gold, 2 bronze) and Italy (1 gold, 2 silver, 3 bronze). Spain (1 silver, 1 bronze) retrogrades to the 11th rank.

Viva Espana ! Spain has been on the podium of the nations ranking in each of the last five editions, mostly thanks to its Kata team. It is followed by Turkey (4 times), Italy (3) and France (2).

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Turkey's Burak Uygur (-67 kg) won two gold medals and his 2nd title in a row.

She is invincible ! Three European championships, three gold medals. France’s Anne-Laure Florentin (+68 kg) is undefeated since its appearance on the continental stage.

5 over 5 ! Spain’s Damian Quintero (Kata) won his fifth European title. Five medals in five years is the feat achieved by Italy’s Busato (Kata), 1st in 2014, 3rd in the other four editions, Turkey’s Ozcelik (-50 kg), 1st in 2014 and 2018; 2nd in 2016; 3rd in 2015 and 2017, and Spain’s Damian Quintero (Kata), 2nd in 2014, 1st since 2015. Concerning teams, only Spain in men's Kata and Turkey in men's Kumite have achieved this superb performance. The Turkish fighters have even done better by competing in the last 5 finals, losing only one against France in 2016.

4 over 5 ! Italy’s Luigi Busa (-75 kg : 1st in 2014 and 2017, 3rd in 2015 and 2018), Turkey’s Ugur Aktas (-84 kg : 1st in 2016 and 2017, 3rd in 2015 and 2018), Austria’s Bettina Plank (-50 kg : 1st in 2015, 2nd in 2014 and 2018, 3rd in 2017), France’s Lucie Ignace (-61 kg : 1st in 2015, 2016 and 2018, 2nd in 2017), Italy’s Sara Cardin (-55 kg : 1st in 2014, 2016, 2nd in 2017, 3rd in 2018) and Viviana Bottaro (Kata : 1st in 2014, 2nd in 2017 and 2018, 3rd in 2016), Spain’s Sandra Sanchez Jaime (Kata : 1st from 2015 to 2018 ) and the Italian Kata men's team (2nd in 2014, 2015, 2017, 3rd in 2018) have won their 4th medal on the last 5 editions.

4 golds in 5 years. Spain’s Sandra Sanchez Jaime (Kata), Turkey’s Serap Ozcelik (-50 kg) and the Spanish men's Kata team won their 4th title in Novi Sad. Lucie Ignace of France won her 3rd European Championship (for four finals).

First time. First European title for Italy’s Michele Martina, 21 years old (-84 kg), Bosnia’s Ivan Klepic (+84 kg), Ukraine’s Anzhelika Terliuga (-55 kg) and the Swiss women's team in Kumite.

Back to grace. First medal for Slovenia since 2007 and Matijevic (2nd in -75 kg) thanks to the bronze of Tjasa Ristic in -61 kg. On its side, Georgia had been waiting since 2005. And it is still Gogita Arkania who offered it the podium (3rd in +84 kg). The Spanish team Kumite, 2nd in Novi Sad, had not appeared on the podium since 2013.

21 hymns. The number of medal-winning countries stands at 21 in 2018. There were 18 in 2017. The record was set in 2014 with 23 nations medalists.