On the first day of action, the final under 63 kg was an all Croatian affair, as Iva Oberan claimed the gold medal with a win over team mate Lara Cvjetko. Both of the tall Croatians were previously very successful in the -57 kg category but made the step to the category under 63 kg this year - with big success. Especially Oberan has been very consistent and has only missed the podium once this year.
In the category under 70 kg, another Croatian managed to pick up a medal - Namely Lara Kliba. Kliba recently moved up a weight division as well but has also been adapting very fast. This weekend, we saw another good performance from her, as she picked up her third medal this year - A bronze medal.
Andras Vida of Hungrary picked up a good silver medal in the -60 kg category. Vida showed good judo throughout the day and was very dominant up until the final where he unfortunately fell short. Nevertheless, Vida can be proud of his performance, having picked up his first medal at a European Cup since winning the Cadet European Cup in Zagreb back in 2017.
In the same category, Vida’s teammate Csanad Feczko came close to a podium finish. Feczko, as well, showed a good performance but in the end of the day, just missed out on the medal finishing with a 5th place.
In the -66 kg category, Czech Jan Svoboda narrowly missed the podium. After a loss in the early preliminaries, Svoboda fought back and showed a terrific performance, winning all of his repechage contests with big ippons. Unfortunately, the Czech had to settle for a 5th place in the end of the day after a very tight match for the bronze medal.
Marlene Hunger of Austria also ended the day with a 5th place in the -78 kg category. The Austrian showed good judo throughout the day but unfortunately it was not enough for a medal.
Same story applied for Helena Vukovic of Croatia in the category over 78 kg, who was also battling hard but had to settle for a 5th place.
On the second day of action, host nation Hungary really had something to cheer for, as three Hungarians were able to claim a gold medal and raise the flag for Hungary.
The first gold medal went to Benedek Toth in the category under 81 kg. Toth is on great form at the moment and this weekend he once again showed, that he is one to watch in this division. He claimed his third gold medal this year.
He was followed up by teammate Peter Arvai, who topped the podium in the -100 kg category. Arvai had a great performance on the day and left no doubt who belonged on the top spot this weekend, upgrading his latest result - A silver medal - to gold.
Last but not least, a gold medal medal was picked up by Richard Cipocz in the +100 kg category. Cipocz showed great judo on the day and wasted no time on his way to the final, winning all of the preliminary rounds by ippon. Also in the final, the Hungarian heavyweight was displaying impressing judo and claimed the gold medal in style - With ippon.
In the -90 kg category, the Hungarian team could celebrate another medal, as Roland Goz was able to pick up a bronze medal. Goz, as well, showed a strong performance and made it all the way to the semi final, where he unfortunately fell short but came back strongly to take a convincing win in the bronze medal match.
Also in the -57 kg category a Hungarian athlete made her way to the podium, as Brigitta Varga snatched a bronze medal. Varga won a high number of European Cup medals in the Cadet division and this weekend she could be proud of having won her first ever Junior European Cup medal.
She could share the podium with another Ippon Gear athlete; Lisa Grabner of Austria. Grabner had a good performance on the day showing gutsy judo, which in the end of the day was awarded with a bronze medal. In the bronze medal match she bested another Ippon Gear athlete; Andrea Karman of Hungary in a very tight match, which was decided in Golden Score in the favour of the Austrian.
Despite having to settle for a 5th place, Karman can be proud of a good performance.
Also Grabner’s teammate Niko Herzog came close to a podium finish in the -100 kg category but in the end of the day narrowly missed out.
Overall, another successful weekend for the Ippon Gear Juniors, who claimed a total of ten medals, of which, four of them was gold. Host nation Hungary could be delighted about winning three categories, placing them on top of the medal tally, while the team of Croatia could celebrate an all Croatian final.
Many Ippon Gear youngsters are showing great potential for the future and we are excited to follow the rest of the Junior season, leading up to the two highlights; the European Championships in Vaanta, Finland and the World Championships in Marrakech, Morocco.