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Paco Lozano / Judo y Otros
World Champion Lukas Krpalek celebrated a gold medal at his own tournament in Prague. Not a surprise for the powerhouse from Czech Republic. He felt obliged as he is always represented in the capital to fight. This time though the tournament was somewhat downgraded as the field was small and gave space to a new generation, although even former World silver medallist Annett Meszaros (HUN), now 33, competed among the youngsters.
The gold medal for Krpalek was the reward for the organisation after two silver medals at the first day. Krpalek never disappoints the home base, but with a fast loss at the Tel Aviv Grand Slam, it was Krpalek who wanted to check and a feel some athletes that he probably ever fought. In the final the tall Czech defated Oleksandr Gordiienko (UKR).
Hungary had a good day in Prague with three gold medals. Not for Meszaros who finished fifth but at least reached the semi finals. The titles were for the men’s team: Benedek Toth U81kg who defeated Oskari Makinen of Finland who surprised in this field. Peter Safrany fought quite a battle with Roland Goz U90kg and led the match, Goz came back but eventually lost a chance for gold. A Hungarian final and two Austrian bronze medals U90kg. Zalan Ohat was the expected man U100kg to snatch gold. Danylo Hutsol was the first of two Ukrainians who lost their finals.
In the women’s categories Lara Cvjetko of Croatia took the title against Donja Vos of the Netherland U70kg and became the youngest winner of this weekend. There was an all Dutch final between former World Junior Championships finalist Renee van Harselaar and rookie yael van Heemst who impressed at world level at the cadets. Now she is a junior and no fear to shake up the seniors. In a tight but somewhat boring final both athletes got a few penalties, the last set was enough for Van Harselaar to get the gold. Helena Vukovic added a second Croatian medal on Sunday after she overcame Urska Torkar of Slovenia in the final +78kg.
The Netherlands won the medal table followed by Hungary and Romania both with three titles. Next week the top athletes of the world will travel to Uzbekistan for the Grand Slam of Tashkent.
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