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Golden girl Szofi Ozbas takes the European title in Vaanta

This weekend, one of the most important Junior competitions of the year took place in Vaanta, Finland: Namely the Junior European Judo Championships. The competition was a big success for our IPPON GEAR athletes, who managed to win a total of eight medals.

First and foremost, an amazing gold medal went to Szofi Ozbas of Hungary in the -63 kg category. The Youth Olympic Champion had an outstanding form on the day and left no doubt of who deserved the European title. Ozbas wasted no time and won all of her matches by IPPON to claim the victory and raise the flag for Hungary. A great win for the young Hungarian who is following in the footsteps of another successful Hungarian athlete; Szabina Gercsak was also Youth Olympic Champion and Junior European Champion, as well in the -63 of category.

In the same category, Czech Renata Zachova came close to a podium finish but narrowly missed out. The U23 Vice European Champion showed a good performance as well but had to settle for a 5th place.

In the -90 kg category, the team of Hungary had another chance for a gold medal, as Roland Goz made it to the final. Goz could display some very powerful judo. In the final, the Hungarian came off for a good start and was leading by wazari, up until the last dying seconds, where he unfortunately got caught. Nevertheless, Goz can sure be proud of his performance. He has been developing all the way through the season and this weekend he could be awarded with the title: Vice European Champion.

In the men’s heavyweight division, Erik Abramov of Germany also claimed a silver medal. The German came into the tournament as current Vice European Champion and after a strong performance throughout the day, he was able renew this title.

He could share the podium with another IPPON GEAR athlete; namely Richard Sipocz of Hungary. The triple Cadet European Champion showed as per usual, amazing judo and won all of his opening contests with IPPON to take him into the semifinal. Here, he unfortunately fell short in a tight match, but fought back in the bronze medal match and left no doubt who belonged on the podium, winning the contest with a big IPPON.

In the category under 100 kg, the Hungarian team could add another medal as Zsombor Veg clinched a bronze medal. Veg powered through the preliminary rounds with only IPPON wins. In the semifinal, Veg unfortunately lost out to the later European Champion, getting caught after having been in the lead. Surely, a bitter pill to swallow, but Veg came back strongly and claimed the bronze medal in style: With a big IPPON!

In the category under 73 kg, Mathias Czizsek of Austria could also be happy about picking up a bronze medal. Czizsek powered through the preliminary rounds and could soon find himself in the semifinal. Here, he had to accept a defeat in a tight contest which put him down to fight for a bronze medal. Also, the bronze medal match was a hard one and even match up but in the last minute of the ordinary time, Czizsek managed to catch his Italian opponent with an amazing IPPON to claim his first European medal in the Junior division.

In the -57 kg category, German Seija Ballhaus won a good bronze medal. Ballhaus has been very consistent throughout the season and has also made the step to win a medal in the Senior division already. This weekend, Ballhaus could be happy about getting a bronze medal around her neck.

Ballhaus’ twin sister Mascha Ballhaus also came very close to the podium but narrowly missed out. The former Cadet European Champion could as well show some good judo throughout the day, but unfortunately, this time around, it was not enough for a medal. Nevertheless, we are confident, that it is just a matter of time, before this little powerhouse will take a Junior European medal as well.

In the -78 kg category, Patrunjela Pavic of Croatia came away with a bronze medal. Pavic showed very good judo throughout the day and in the end, she could be delighted about having won her first European medal.

Also, Pavic’ teammate Helena Vukovic was able to claim a bronze medal in the +78 kg category. The former Cadet World Champion was able to display her good throwing skills, which, in the end of the day, was awarded with a bronze medal.

Furthermore, four athletes managed to finish with a 7th place at this year’s Junior European Championships:
Daniel Leutgeb of Austria (-60 kg)
Robert Klacar of Croatia (-66 kg)
Lara Kliba of Croatia (-70 kg)
Mathias Madsen of Denmark (-100 kg)

We are very proud of our players for all the amazing performances we saw during the tournament and we are excited to see what the future will bring!

In one month, our athletes will be ready for another battle, probably the most important one of the year: The Junior World Championship, which will take place in Marrakech, Morocco!

Kategorien: Judo

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