First and foremost, the gold medal under 81 kg. went to Dominik Druzeta of Croatia. Druzeta tore his ACL at the European Championships in Tel Aviv last year and made his first appearance at the World circuit in January. This weekend, the Croatian had a great performance here in Warsaw and won all his matches in convincing style to show that he is surely back in shape and ready to be on the run for Tokyo. We are happy you are back Dominik!
In the category under 90 kg, it was Marko Bubanja of Austria who claimed the gold medal. Bubanja, as well, had a great performance through out the day and won all of his matches with ippon, including the semi final against home favourite, Piotr Kuczera. A great job from the Austrian, who can be happy about having won his first medal at a Continental Open.
In the same category, Bubanja’s team mate Johannes Pacher just narrowly missed out on a podium spot. Pacher did as well show good judo through out the day and managed to take himself all the way to the semi final. Unfortunately, Pacher had to settle for a 5th place in the end of the day, after a very tight fight for bronze. An unfortunate ending to a good day, but nevertheless a good progression from this Austrian.
In the category under 100 kg, there was a silver medal for Jelle Snippe of the Netherlands, who could be proud about picking up his first medal at a Continental Open. The Dutchman did not have an easy way to the final and did surely fight for it, as all of his preliminary matches went into Golden score. In the semi final, he was faced with another Ippon Gear athlete; Mathias Madsen of Denmark. After a hard fought match, Snippe came out on top, after Madsen received a third penalty in the Golden score.
Snippe showed great will, power and overview through out the day and did surely deserve the silver medal. Also for Mathias Madsen of Denmark, it was his first medal at a Continental Open and as well, the first ever medal for a Danish male at a Continental Open. Madsen had a good performance through out the day and won his matches in convincing style, with only a single slip in the match against Jelle Snippe. In the bronze medal match, Madsen faced another Ippon Gear athlete; Zalan Ohat of Hungary, who had to settle for a 5th place.
Overall, a good weekend for the Ippon Gear athletes - A Golden comeback for Druzeta and the three youngsters Bubanja, Snippe and Madsen each picking up their first Continental Open medals. We can’t wait to see what the future has in store for this team.