On day one of competition, Hedvig Karakas made it to the podium. She finished third in a highly competitive field. With a hard draw where she among others had to face 2017 World Bronze medalist Nekoda Smythe-Davis in the first round she showed that she is one of the best in -57 kg and she topped it off by defeating the Rio 2016 Olympic Champion Rafaela Silva from Brazil in the bronze medal match.
Also, on day one of competition, we saw the Czech flag being raised on the podium as David Pulkrabek finished the day with a bronze medal around his neck. He was off to a flying start as he won his first matches with impressive throws.
Furthermore, Ippon Gear youngster and 2017 Junior World Champion Matthias Casse showed that he once again can get amongst the medals in the strong -81 kg category. He reached the final by beating 2018 European Bronze medalist Antonio Esposito from Italy in the semi final.
Once again, Anna-Maria Wagner from Germany showed that she belongs amongst the elite in her -78 kg category. She finished her day with a successful bronze medal. In the process of winning that medal she eliminated 2016 Olympic bronze medalist and 2017 World Champion Mayra Aguiar with an absolutely stunning uchi mata for ippon.
The strong performances with four medals for the Ippon Gear athletes were followed up by two fifth places. It was Martyna Trajdos and Stephan Hegyi who finished just outside the podium in their respective categories. Also, seventh places for Larisa Ceric, Reka Pupp and Karla Prodan. All in all, some important points for the Olympic qualification was earned this weekend for a lot of Ippon Gear athletes. Next stop on the IJF World Tour will be in Budapest, Hungary, where even more IPPONGEAR athletes will chase down the medals.