Jorre Verstraeten (IJF 13) just failed to win a bronze medal in the category up to 60 kilograms at the European Judo Championship in Montpellier, France. He missed out on a fourth European Championship bronze, after 2019, 2020 and 2022.
The 25-year-old Verstraeten and the 21-year-old Frenchman Romain Valadier-Picard (IJF 16), encouraged by their own supporters, ensured a balanced match on the tatami. Both judokas each received two penalties for passive judo.
In the golden score, Verstraeten was ultimately punished, allowing Valadier-Picard to prevail.
A refereeing decision that did not go undiscussed. According to the regulations, Verstraeten himself should have received a score in extra time and the Frenchman also got away several times when committing a potential mistake.
In his first match of the day, Verstraeten, free in the first round, received two penalties against the Turk Salih Yildiz (IJF 17), eventually winning by ippon. In the quarter-finals, Verstraeten had to admit his superiority in the Russian Ramazan Abdulaev (IJF 21), after a third punishment in the golden score.
Verstraeten then overpowered the Italian Andrea Carlino (IJF 62) with a quick ippon in the repechages. Romain Valadier-Picard then proved to be just too strong.
Earlier in the day, Loïs Petit (IJF 76) and Ellen Salens (IJF 43) failed in the first round of the -48 kg. Mina Libeer (IJF 22) also fell in the first round of the 57 kg class. Amber Ryheul (IJF 24) also lost immediately in the category up to 52 kg.