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Introducing the IPPONGEAR Olympic Team - Part 1

When the Olympic Games in Paris will begin on 26 th of July, Team IPPONGEAR can be proud to have a total number of 32 athletes represented. Today, we are excited to already introduce to you: Our lightweight athletes.

Tara Babulfath (-48 kg, Sweden)

Swedish lightweight, Tara Babulfath will be the youngest judo athlete in action in Paris. The only 18-year-old Swede made her first appearance at the senior stage in the end of 2023 and in 2024 skyrocketed up the Olympic Ranking list, as she was able to capture a gold medal at the Grand Slam in Baku, as well as a bronze medal at the World Championships in Abu Dhabu – Just a year after capturing a World medal in the under 18 age category. Despite her young age, Babulfath is clearly a force to be reckoned with in the -48 kg category and will be looking to upset the top players in the category. 

Milica Nikolic (-48 kg, Serbia)

One of the more experienced athletes in the -48 kg category is Milica Nikolic of Serbia, who will be attending her second Olympic Games. The 29-years-old Serbian has an impressive track record and has won a total of not less than 25 medals on the IJF World Tour over her career. The Serbian lightweight will be trying to capture her first Olympic medal on the opening day of competition in Paris. 

Katharina Tanzer (-48 kg, Austria)

Katharina Tanzer of Austria will make her Olympic debut at the Games in Paris. Tanzer will be coming into the competition unseeded but will be looking to upset the favorites in the -48 kg category. Tanzer is yet to win a medal this year but as a two times Grand Slam medalist, the Austrian has proved that she has the abilities to do so. 

Geronay Whitebooi (-48 kg, South Africa)

Geronay Whitebooi from South Africa will be stepping on the Olympic tatami for the second time in her career this summer. The 28-years-old lightweight had her Olympic debut in Tokyo in 2021 and will be using her previous Olympic experince to excel in Paris.

Reka Pupp (-52 kg, Hungary)

Reka Pupp of Hungary is currently ranked #6 at the World Ranking list and is one of the most consistent athletes in the -52 kg category. In 2024, Pupp has been able to come away with a bronze medal at the European Championships, as well as a 5th place at the World Championships, showing that she is on form at the moment. Pupp narrowly missed out on a medal at the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2021 and will be looking to swop the 5th place for a medal in Paris. 

Jorre Verstraeten (-60 kg, Belgium)

The Olympic Games in Paris will be the second Olympic experience for Belgian lightweight Jorre Verstraeten. The former European bronze medalist had a successful year in 2023, where he was able to pick up two Grand Slam medals, as well as a 5 th place at the World Championships. Verstraeten is yet to win a medal this year, however, the 26-years-old Belgian got the experience to always be a medal contender in the men’s lightweight division. 

Baruch Shmailov (-66 kg, Israel)

2022 World Masters Champion, Baruch Shmailov of Israel will be competing at the Olympic Games for the second time in his career. Shmailov was part of the Israeli team, which won a bronze medal at the team event at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, however at the Olympic Games in Paris, Shmailov will be looking to capture an individual medal as well. 

Bogdan Iadov (-66 kg, Ukraine)

Bogdan Iadov of Ukraine will be making his Olympic debut in Paris and has shown multiple times during the qualification period, that he will not be at the Games just to participate. The former European Champion, Iadov, won one of the most prestigious World Tour events, the Paris Grand Slam in 2023 and in earlier this year, the Ukrainian reached the top 10 on the World Ranking list, showcasing him as a serious contender in the -66 kg category.

Good luck to all our IPPONGEAR athletes! We are proud to stand behind you on the Olympic journey. 

Kategorien: Judo

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