Lukas Krpalek got his redemption after a rather disappointing fifth place at World Championships where he narrowly lost out.
The Olympic Champion showed what he is made of and won his preliminary fights in quick fashion. His body language showed that he wanted nothing else than winning today. In the Semis we saw a re-match of the European Championships final between Krpalek and Bashaev from Russia. The Czech Olympic Champion decided the close match in the Golden Score and went on to defeat his opponent in the final to stand on top of the podium once again with the Czech national anthem in the background. Some more points for Tokyo was earned.
Impressive Austrian performance
It was a successful Grand Prix for Austria as they picked up 5 medals - two golds, one silver and two bronze.
The first gold was won by Magdalena Krssakova in -63 kg, her first medal in the Olympic Qualification period and lots of points towards Tokyo.
For Michaela Polleres, who is only 21 years old, it was a first Grand Prix gold as she rose to the top of the podium in -70 kg in a tough field. A great result for the youngsters.
Another good Austrian result came from Laurin Böhler, who went to the final in -100 kg and also for him it was the first Grand Prix medal in the Olympic Qualification.
He defeated his younger team mate Aaron Fara in the semi final, who still ended up on the podium with a bronze medal. An amazing performance by the two Austrian men with impressive Judo throughout the whole day!
But the medals kept coming for Austria as Daniel Allerstorfer defeated 2017 World Silver medalist David Moura in the bronze medal match. He finished up the extraordinary performance of the Austrian team with their fifth medal, who mainly consists of younger athletes, which shows that the future is bright for them.
Puliaev and Pulkrabek back on the podium
On the first day of competition, we saw triple world silver medalist Mikhail Puliaev blast through his preliminary fights -66kg where he showcased his amazing throws. But in the end he had to settle for silver in the final.
However, after missing the podium and finishing 7th at this years World Championships it’s good to see him back on the podium where he belongs.
Another medal was for David Pulkrabek of Czech Republic who secured his second Grand Prix bronze medal in this Olympic Qualification. After a close semi final, where he had a wazaari for most of the fight he had to see himself defeated.
But Pulkrabek was determined to get on the podium again and he scored ippon around half time in the bronze medal match to secure his spot on the podium -60kg. A strong performance for the Czech lightweight.
Some other athletes just missed the podium
David Klammert of Czech Republic showed a good performance but sadly placed right outside the podium by finishing 5th.
Both Manuel Scheibel and Miklos Ungvari finished their competition on a seventh place.
With 8 medals and three of them being gold it is fair to say that the Ippon Gear athletes showed that they belong among the best ones in the world and we are so excited to see what the future holds for all of our athletes.