On the 11th of October, the 19th Branko Bošnjak Memorial was held in Samobor, Croatia. The tournament is established in the memory of Branko Bošnjak, member of Karate Club Mladost Samobor who lost his life in Croatian war for independence.
The 1st tournament was held in 1995 and only 16 fighters from 3 countries in absolute category participated. Through Shihan Milan Garašić, Croatian Branch Chief and his team worked very hard in promotion and organization of tournament. As the years passed, the tournament developed into a respectable competition and many famous fighters participated in it: Donatas Imbras, Marius Ilas, Jimie Collin, Veronika Szovetes, etc.
Also through the years, many EKO Board Members visited the tournament and by that giving it big support. This year, Shihan Cyril Andrews and Shihan Furko Kalman were guests.
Main sponsors of the tournament were from Croatian government: Ministry of War Veterans and Ministry of Police.
This year’s tournament was very strong. 60 fighters from 10 European countries participated in it, and was one of the strongest “memorial” tournaments till now.
In the Women’s division there were many good fights which ended in extension and all the ladies were high level fighters. Szepesi Csenge from Hungary, multiple European medalist won in the Heavyweight category. Her semifinal fight against the domestic fighter, Croatian Kristina Kojundžić was very hard, but in the end she won in extension.
In the Men’s categories there were also hard fights. Gabor Rozsa from Hungary, also multiple European medalist, won Lightweight category, defeating in the Final his Hungarian college Csaba Gal. At the end of tournament, Rozsa won the Best Technique title.
In other categories, the spectators also saw some great fights. The Final for Men Heavyweight was very exciting.In the Final, once again there was a fight of a titan; Lithuanian Antanas Klibavicius young rising fighter, and eternal giant from Bulgaria, last year’s champion Dimitar Trampov who is 49 years old. Klibavicius won but it was a very hard fight for him.
In the break from fights, spectators could see demo of various martial arts: traditional karate, judo, and kyokushin tameshiwari performed by Croatian demo team.
At the end of the tournament, the organizer prepared a traditional sayonara party for all guests and thanked them for attending the event.
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