First and foremost an amazing gold medal went to Hungary’s Golden Girl Szofi Ozbas in the category under 63 kg. The current European Champion did once again show, that she is one of our young athletes on the rise. With another impressive performance, Ozbas did not leave any doubt, who was the rightful title holder, as she won all of her matches in convincing style, to get crowned Junior World Champion.
In the same category, Czech Renata Zachova once again came close to a podium finish but unfortunately had to settle for a 5th place. Zachova came off from a great start and looked very convincing throughout the preliminary rounds and could soon find herself in the semifinal. Here, she fell short in the contest against Ozbas and unfortunately didn’t manage to come back in the bronze medal match. Nevertheless, a very good performance from the Czech Youngster, who we surely will see more of in the future.
In the category under 90 kg, Roland Goz of Hungary could be happy about picking up a silver medal. Goz showed an extraordinary performance and powered through the preliminary rounds with only IPPON wins. In the final, Goz’ Georgian opponent, Lasha Bekauri, unfortunately proved too strong but what a performance from the Hungarian. He has been ever improving through the whole season and after winning a silver medal at the European Championships, Goz could now add a World silver medal as well.
In the +100 kg category, Erik Abramov of Germany also picked up a silver medal. Abramov wasted no time on his way to the final, winning all of his contests by IPPON in a minimum of time. In the final, he unfortunately did not manage to get the win but still an amazing performance from the German, who could upgrade his bronze medal from last year’s Junior World Championships to a silver medal and the title of Vice World Champion.
Abramov could share the podium with another IPPON GEAR athlete; namely Richard Sipocz of Hungary. The triple Cadet European Champion is, despite being only 18 years of age, already a well-established name in the Junior division. This weekend, we saw another good performance from the Hungarian heavyweight, which, in the end of the day, was awarded with a well-deserved bronze medal.
In the category under 100 kg, the team of Hungary could celebrate yet another medal, as Zsombor Veg came away with a bronze medal. Veg was looking very strong throughout the whole day and delivered some great judo to clinch his first ever World medal.
In the same category, Denmark’s Mathias Madsen narrowly missed out on a medal and ended his day with a 5th place. Coming into the competition as the number one seed, the ambitions were definitely high for the Danish athlete. Unfortunately, Madsen did not manage to secure a medal, but can still be proud of a very good performance.
In the -70 kg category, Marlene Galandi of Germany was able to pick up a good bronze medal. After an unfortunate early exit at the European Championships, Galandi was hungry for a medal and what a performance she showed this weekend. Galandi looked very sharp throughout the whole competition and left no doubt, that she belonged on the podium.
Vera Zemanova of Czech Republic came very close to a podium finish in the -57 kg category, but narrowly missed out. Zemanova had a tough day with a lot of very tight matches but the Czech athlete showed a good physical shape, as well as strong fighting spirit and managed to take herself into the bronze medal match. Unfortunately, she had to settle for a 5th place in the end of the day but nevertheless a very strong performance from her.
Another athlete who was extremely close to grabbing a medal was Austrian Samuel Gassner in the category under 73 kg. Gassner did not have an easy year, and it seemed like the former EYOF Runner-up needed some time to adjust, both to the Junior division as well as to his new weight category, -73 kg - But what a performance he delivered this weekend! Gassner showed great judo throughout the whole day and made it all the way to the semifinal, where he unfortunately fell short against the later World Champion from Tajikistan. Nevertheless, a very strong effort from the young Austrian, who we surely will see more of in the future.
Also Croatia’s Patrunjela Pavic just missed out on a podium spot, ending her day with a 5th place. Pavic could, as well, show good judo but unfortunately, it was not enough for a medal.
Congratulations to all of our athletes on all the good performances here in Marrakech. With a total of six medals and furthermore five athletes ending with a 5th place, it is safe to say, that, also this year’s Junior World Championships, was a success for the IPPON GEAR athletes - We are proud of you!