Already on the first day of action, the IPPON GEAR team had something to celebrate, as Luca Mamira of Hungary got crowned Cadet World Champion, in the category under 40 kg. The Vice-European Champion had a terrific performance on the day, showing amazing judo skills, as well as an impressive physique. In the final, Mamira wasted no time and it took her only one minute, to score the IPPON, which secured her the World title.
In the category under 52 kg, Italian Veronica Toniolo followed the example of Mamira and was able to claim the second World title for the IPPON GEAR team. After winning the European title earlier this year, Toniolo could now be delighted about being able to add Cadet World Champion to her CV.
The titles just kept coming for the IPPON GEAR fighters and the third athlete to get crowned World Champion, was Czech Adam Kopecky. Kopecky had an outstanding season and besides winning not less than five European Cup medals, he also captured the European title earlier this year.
Four weeks after we saw Lukas Krpalek claim the World title in Tokyo, the young Kopecky is following in his footsteps. Kopecky came into the competition as the number one seed and left no doubt, that this was his rightful spot, as he won all of his matches by IPPON, to claim the World title and raise the flag for Czech Republic.
In the category under 48 kg, Ana Viktorija Puljiz is one of the most decorated athletes on the Cadet World Tour. Having won three European medals as well as a medal the Youth Olympic Games, Puljiz is no stranger on the podium at major events. This week, she could once again confirm her consistency, by winning a World silver medal. Puljiz powered through the preliminary rounds and could find herself in the final, after having won all her contests by IPPON. Here, she unfortunately fell short, but still, an amazing result from the Croatian lightweight.
Puljiz could share the podium with another IPPON GEAR athlete; namely Anna Kriza of Hungary. The tall Hungarian was defeated by Puljiz in the quarter final but fought back in the repechage. Kriza showed some very powerful judo throughout the competition and in the end of the day, her hard work was awarded with a well-deserved bronze medal.
In the category under 63 kg, Croatian Katarina Kristo was also able to claim a bronze medal. Kristo already picked up a number of Junior European Cup medals and is also the current EYOF runner-up - There was no doubt, that she came to Kazakhstan for a medal. Kristo showed a very strong performance throughout the whole competition and clinched her bronze medal style - With IPPON.
In 2009, Croatian hero Barbara Matic won a bronze medal at the Cadet World Championships, also in the -63 kg category, and now, ten years later, Katarina Kristo was able to follow in her footsteps.
The Cadet World Championships here in Astana concludes a long and tough season for the Cadet athletes. It is safe to say, that this year’s World Championships have been a huge success for the IPPON GEAR team. We could not be any prouder of our young athletes, who have showed some great judo skills. Both physically but also technically and tactically, the athletes have been very impressive. Not less than three World titles and furthermore three medals were picked up by the young team of IPPON GEAR athletes. The future is bright for these young judokas and we are very proud to stand behind them.