Szabina Gercsak made her competition debut after a serious back injury. It was the first time, she stepped on the mat in international competition since December last year. Nevertheless, she showed that she is still capable of being one of the best as she won all her four fights with IPPON and placed herself on top of the podium. Welcome back, Szabina!
Her Hungarian teammate Zalan Ohat, who is used to being on the podium at the European Opens, also made his way to the final after winning all his previous fights on IPPON. In the end, he placed second in a strong competition!
On day one, the number one seed Manuel Scheibel of Germany had a great day as he managed to reach the podium in the under 66 kg category. With greater expectations for himself being the number one seed, he ended his day with a bronze medal. However, we are proud of him and his judo in this tough category! You’ll be on top of the podium very soon!
In -48 kg category, two Austrian women left their mark as they both fought in the bronze medal matches. Mara Kraft defeated her Italian opponent and earned herself a spot on the podium and the bronze medal and a long-awaited one as it was her first European Open medal. Hard work pays off! Katharina Tanzer had to settle for a fifth-place as her French opponent showed to be too strong but a strong finish for her. Good work from the Austrian lightweights!
Overall, a good weekend for the IPPON GEAR team that delivered a great performance at the European Judo Open. Next weekend, we will see the seniors fight on the other side of the world as the IJF World Tour moves to Brazil for the Judo Grand Slam Brasilia and we are excited to see our Olympic hopefuls chase the medals and Olympic points in the South American city.