The Spanish team is in good shape and that all the efforts made over recent months, even years, are paying off. At the Grand prix in Linz David Garcia Torne (ESP) eliminated the world number one and consequently the number one seed, Denis Vieru (MDA), who could not recover and later on did not show up in the repechage.
Garcia Torne’s opponent in the final was a total outsider, since Kamran Suleymanov (AZE), 72nd in the world ranking, won his ticket to the final. Without results at this level of competition so far, Suleymanov therefore offered himself a beautiful first line on his prize list, even before the final began.
David Garcia Torne immediately created the danger with a drop seoi-nage for no score, immediately followed on the floor with a good piece of groundwork. Kamran Suleymanov was warned but the next sequence was his. Garcia Torne was also warned! As the final was unfolding, penalties started to be given, two to Suleymanov, one to Garcia Torne. Just before the end of normal time, the Spanish judoka received his second penalty, so two shido apiece. It was time for golden score. The contest started to be really animated with attacks from both sides, but it suddenly turned to the advantage of David Garcia Torne who scored ippon with a powerful ko-soto-gake. Spain was again on top of the podium.
To find Fabio Basile (ITA) at such a party, Olympic champion in Rio in 2016, who since has struggled and hesitated between -73kg and -66kg, is a pleasure. Concentrated from the beginning of the competition, he didn’t seem to get upset even when he was led by a first waza-ari from the start. It was only against Alberto Gaitero that the Transalpine judoka did not find the solution. For a place on the podium, he was opposed by Lennart Slamberger (GER). As Lennart Slamberger was unable to compete, the medal went to Italy and Fabio Basile.
Florian Doppelhammer (AUT), like Sabrina Filzmoser (AUT), took this grand prix a bit like a bet, a slightly crazy bet, but one that paid off. When you consult the ranking list, you quickly notice that Florian is not ranked. This is normal since it is his very first participation at this level of competition. at 33 years old. He is indeed one of the coaches of the Austrian team and he is at home in Linz. So why not? He took it well, since after exceptional preliminary rounds, he found himself in position to climb on the podium, competing against Alberto Gaitero Martin (ESP). Despite all his efforts, the bronze medal contest was a little too much for Florian Doppelhammer who was defeated with a shime-waza by Alberto Gaitero Martin, but who would have guessed that Florian would reach fifth place? That is also the beauty of judo. Congratulations to both judoka.