Three-time Junior European Cup winner Max Stewart showcased his precocious talent at the Junior European Championships as he surged to a highly-impressive silver medal in Belgium.
Stewart, who also took bronze at the German Junior European Cup, was dominant as he coolly dispatched his first four opponents by ippon.
The -73kg judoka from Birmingham opened his campaign with a win over Tigran Galstian of Lithuania before overcoming Fagan Eminoglu from Azerbaijan.
A win over Tomer Zakeim followed and Vladimir Zoloev was Stewart’s next victim as he marched to the finalimperious fashion, winning by the maximum score and avoiding a single point being scored against him.
The final was a close contest as the British starlet met Ukraine’s Rufat Magomedov. Stewart searched for an opening and after falling behind by a waza-ari continued to press. The Ukrainian judoka was able to defend his lead for a narrow win as Stewart once again showed why he’s one of the most exciting and talented junior judokas in Europe.
Stewart said: “I’m pleased to win my first European medal and the fact that all my wins come by ippon and to get to the final has really given me confidence. I am slightly disappointed as I think I could have won it but overall I’m pleased.”