First and foremost, Lukas Krpalek of Czech Republic was able to capture a good bronze medal in the category over 100 kg. Krpalek was very powerful throughout the preliminaries and went from round to round with only IPPON wins. In the semifinal, we saw a rematch of one of the most debated battles this year: Krpalek vs Riner. Unfortunately, Krpalek was not able to get the win, but came back strongly in the repechage and claimed his spot on the podium with a big IPPON.
In the category under 100 kg, Miklos Cirjenics of Hungary also picked up a good bronze medal. Cirjenics had a strong performance throughout the competition and apart from a small slip in the quarter final, the Hungarian also managed to win all of his contests in convincing style. In the end of the day, Cirjenics could be happy about picking up his first medal of the season, after having suffered an injury in the beginning of the year.
Last but not least, another bronze medal went to Anna Maria Wagner of Germany in the -78 kg category. Wagner is one of the most consistent athletes in her weight division and has been in not less than five finals in a row at the IJF World Tour this year. Wagner came into the European and World Championships as top favorite but unfortunately fell short. This weekend, the tall German again showed impressive judo which brought her back to her rightful spot: the podium.
Congratulations to all three medalists, who all performed very well here in the Brazilian capital. We are proud to stand behind you on the Road to Tokyo.
Next up for our IPPON GEAR athletes will be the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam, where more qualification points will be at stake - Stay tuned.