On the first day of action, we saw an amazing performance from Austrian legend Sabrina Filzmoser. Filzmoser showed once again, that age is just an number, when she picked up a fantastic bronze medal in the category under 57 kg. Being 39 years of age, Filzmoser just broke the record of being the oldest ever judoka to win a Grand Prix medal.
Also, Hungarian hero, Hedvig Karakas, gave the home crowd something to cheer for, as she picked up a bronze medal and could share the podium with Filzmoser. Karakas was on great form the whole day and made it all the way to the semi final, where she unfortunately fell short in an extremely tight match against Olympic Champion Rafaela Silva of Brazil, which was decided after over four minutes of Golden Score. In the bronze medal match, Karakas came back strongly to win the bronze medal in convincing style, to the delight of the home crowd.
In the men’s -81 kg category, another Hungarian picked up a medal; namely Attila Ungvari. After winning a bronze medal at the European Games two weeks ago, this weekend, Ungvari confirmed that he is in great shape winning another bronze medal here in Budapest.
In the fight for bronze, Ungvari was met with another Ippon Gear athlete; Shamil Borchashvili of Austria. Borchashvili had a great performance on the day and all of his matches were won by IPPON, including an amazing first round win after only 17 seconds against 2018 World Masters Champion Takeshi Sasaki of Japan.
Borchashvili and Ungvari had a very tight match for the bronze medal, but after a minute of Golden Score, it was Ungvari who ended up victorious.
Also under 81 kg, Medickson del Orbe Cortorreal ended his day with a 5th place. Del Orbe is a real IPPON chaser and this competition was no exception. Del Orbe showed amazing, gutsy judo through out the whole day and did also manage to beat the Olympic Champion Khasan Khalmurzaev on the way to the semi final, where he fell short. Unfortunately, del Orbe suffered another loss in the bronze medal match but we are sure, that this young man will find his way to the podium shortly.
Grigori Minaskin of Estonia could celebrate a good silver medal in the category -100 kg. Minaskin was on fire on the day, winning all of his matches leading up to the final with ippon, including the quarter final against the 2018 World Champion Guram Cho of Korea. In the final, he met another World Champion; Aaron Wolf of Japan. Wolf came out the winner on this occasion but what a day for Minaskin, who could be happy about having won his second ever Grand Prix medal.
In the men’s +100 kg category, we saw another amazing performance by Richard Sipocz of Hungary. The current Cadet European Champion had his Grand Prix debut this weekend in Budapest and what a debut it was! Despite only being 18 years of age, Sipocz showed extremely mature judo and only lost out to Paris Grand Slam gold medalist Kokoro Kageura of Japan. Through out the day, Sipocz won all of his matches by IPPON - What a performance from this young man!
Szofi Ozbas of Hungary also came close to a medal in the -63 kg category. For Ozbas, it was only her second appearance at the IJF World Tour, but this did not stop the the Youth Olympic Champion from taking herself all the way to the semi final. Eventually, Ozbas ended up with a 5th place but a good effort from the youngster, who can sure be proud of what she delivered this weekend.
Further, Robert Florentino of the Dominican Republic narrowly missed out on a medal. Florentino is known for his powerful judo and also this weekend, we saw him chase the IPPON in every match. Unfortunately, Florentino had to settle for a 5th place in the end of the day, but another good performance from the Carribean.
Also two 7th places went to Miklos Cirjenics of Hungary (-100 kg) and Daniel Allerstorfer of Austria (+100 kg)
Overall the Budapest Grand Prix was a success for the IPPON GEAR team. The team of Hungary gave their home crowd a great experience, as they picked up three medals. Furthermore, we are we very proud of Sabrina Filzmoser who broke the record and is now the oldest ever Grand Prix medalist. The Austrian legend is the perfect advocate for judo and we couldn’t be more proud of having her in the team.
In two weeks, the IJF World Tour will move to Zagreb for the last Grand Prix tournament before World Championships. As always, we will be covering all action from the Croatian capital - Stay tuned.