After his 7th place finish in Paris, Matthias Casse made it to the podium in the -81 kg category and finished his day with a bronze medal. An extraordinary day for him and amazing result as he took out strong players throughout the day. Performing on this level just shows us what he is capable of!
After way too many injuries recently, recovering from a fresh knee operation, Laurin Boehler was back on the competition mat and he also finished with a bronze medal. He gave the spectators a show as he always does with his Ippon judo and amazing throwing skills. Match by match he eliminated strong players and won all of his matches with Ippon! Great to have you back on the mat and the podium, Laurin!
The next strong Austrian result was delivered by Stephan Hegyi, the Junior World Silver medalist, who has already proven to be a strong contender in the +100 kg weight category. Today was no different for the youngster. He displayed great judo and managed to catch the bronze medal with a win over Tokyo Grand Slam Winner, Henk Grol. Another medal for Austria!
Bernadette Graf, also from Austria, moved up to -78 kg a year ago after many injuries. This showed to be a great idea as she progressed throughout each competition and this time she ended on the third place after beating the Olympic silver medalist from France, Audrey Tcheumeo. An amazing result for "Berni", we knew you had it in you in -78 kg as well!
The home favorite in -78 kg was Anna-Maria Wagner of Germany. The European bronze medalist has a bright future ahead of her and on Sunday she showed just that and that she belongs into the top of the category. She made her way to the final by beating World and Olympic medalists. In the final, she came up against another strong force and gave the current Olympic bronze medalist a real fight, however, in the last 30 seconds, she fell short of the medal and had to settle for silver. Nevertheless, a very strong result for Anna Maria.
Further, we saw a 7th place finish on -81 kg for Attila Ungvari of Hungary showing that he still has what it takes to get among the best 7 in the World. We know he has more in him.
With a total of 4 medals for the Ippon Gear team, we look back on a very successful weekend where a lot of youngsters made their way to the podium and showed what they are made of and we are so excited for the rest of the year!
Next up on the IJF World Tour is the European Open in Prague for women and Warsaw for men in one week where the athletes can pick up next points for the Olympic Ranking list.