On the opening day of competition, there was a bronze medal for Hedvig Karakas ofHungary in the category under 57 kg. Karakas showed a great performance on the day and managed to beat former World Champion Sumiya Dorjsuren of Mongolia to take advance to the semifinal. Here, she unfortunately fell short but came back strongly in the bronze medal match, where she left no doubt who belonged on the podium.
On the second day of competition, two more athletes were able to follow the example of Hedvig Karakas.
First and foremost, there was a bronze medal for Matthias Casse of Belgium in the category under 81 kg. Casse seems to be in great shape and was able to take himself all the way to the semifinal, where he unfortunately suffered a loss against European Champion Sagi Muki of Israel in a very tactical match. As well the bronze medal match was hard fought but despite his young age, Casse showed extremely mature judo and in the end of the day, the Belgian could be proud of having won his second Grand Slam medal this year.
Also, Martyna Trajdos of Germany was able to pick up a good bronze medal in the -63 kg category. As well as Casse, Trajdos could make it to the semifinal, where she unfortunately fell short in an extremely tight contest against the current Olympic Champion Tina Trstenjak of Slovenia. In the fight for bronze, Trajdos showed clearly that she was the better judoka and was able to beat Gankhaich Bold of Mongolia with a big IPPON!
In the category under 70 kg, Michaela Polleres of Austria came close to a podium finish with a 5th place. Also, Polleres qualified for the semifinal but in the end of the day just missed out on a medal.
In the same category, Maria Perez of Puerto Rico finished with a 7th place.
On the third and last day of competition, two more athletes were able to pick up a medal - namely Anna-Maria Wagner of Germany and Krisztian Tóth of Hungary.
Anna-Maria Wagner picked up a good silver medal in the category under 78 kg. Wagner is on great form at the moment and this weekend she could find herself in her fourth final in a row. With two gold medals and now also two silver medals, the tall German keeps on showing that she really is one of the top forces in this category and a big contender to take the European title next month.
In the category under 90 kg, Krisztian Tóth was able to follow up teammate Hedvig Karakas and take another bronze medal for Hungary. This competition was Tóth’s second appearance at the IJF World Tour this year. Back in February, Tóth took a bronze medal at the Paris Grand Slam and this weekend, he could add another one to his collection.
Congratulations to our athletes for the performances this weekend. This competition was not only the last Grand Slam tournament before the World Championships in Tokyo but did as well mark the ending of the first year of the Olympic Qualification.
In two weeks’ time, a high number of athletes will be attending the Hohhot Grand Prix in China; the first competition in the second half of the Qualification period. We wish all of our athletes good luck!