On the opening day in Bulgaria, there was a silver medal for Katinka Szabó of Hungary in the category under 52 kg. Katinka, twin sister of Budapest Grand Prix bronze medalist Frigyes Szabó, has been absent from competition for almost a year, but showed this weekend, that she is back in shape, as she powered through the preliminary matches and just narrowly lost out in the final after 3 minutes of Golden score.
In the category under 48 kg a 5th place went to Katharina Tanzer of Austria. Tanzer did as well show good judo through out the day and made it all the way to the semi final. Unfortunately, she ended up just missing out on podium spot, but nevertheless a good performance from the young Austrian who is showing good potential for the future.
On the second day of action, Marlene Galandi of Germany managed to pick up her first ever medal at a European Open. Galandi showed good judo and wasted no time in the preliminary rounds, as she won all of her contest by ippon, including the semi final against her German team mate, Rio bronze medalist, Laura Vargas-Koch. In the final, she fell short against Spanish Sara Rodrigues, but nevertheless a great performance from the young German who did surely show, that she is one to watch in the -70 kg category.
In the +78 kg category, a bronze medal went to Emese Karpati of Hungary, who could celebrate her fourth European open medal. In Odivelas, Hungarian Zsolt Gorjanacz (-66 kg) and Erik Abramov (+100 kg) both ended up with a 7th place.
Next weekend will be another exciting weekend of action, as the Paris Grand slam will take place in the Accor Hotels Arena. The traditional Paris Grand Slam is unarguably one of the most prestigious competitions on the IJF World Tour and we wish good luck to all athletes from the Ippon Gear team, who will be there, aiming for a top spot.