Current European champion Toma Nikiforov cannot defend his title as he has to skip the European Championships in Sofia due to an injured rib since April 3. On Social media Nikiforov regrets not to fight in his second country where his family lives.
“To all the Bulgarians who wanted to see me fight. Sorry, I had no other choice. These European Championships were particularly important to me and dear to my heart. Fighting in front of my family, my friends, my relatives, my small and big fans, on Bulgarian soil, during a big event, was pleasant and encouraging for me, but there will be some, I absolutely have no doubt about it, other occasions…”
“After an analysis and a conversation with the medical staff, my coach and the director of the federation, for medical reasons, I will not take part in the next European championships, in Sofia. At the last Grand Slam (Antalya), I broke a rib and the risk is still too big if I fight. I’m very sad and angry, but it’s the right decision. Good luck everyone and fight well! I will still be among you in the stands to admire the beauty of judo. Thank you for your support! See you soon, I love you…”
Nikiforov is the double European champion and a four-time European medallist and four-time IJF World Tour gold medallist.