Judo is back in the beautiful city of Budapest, where great athletes fought in the Grand Slam tournament in Hungary.
In the 48kg division, Olympic silver medalist and former world champion Tonaki Funa was in great shape, dominating her final against Spain’s Julie Figueroa with some strong preparation to secure her 11th senior World Tour gold medal.
President of the International Judo Federation Marius Vizer presented the medals.
In the 60 kg category, Jorre Verstraten from Belgium defeated former world champion Lukhumi Chkhvimiani from Georgia with a deft kick. He was awarded the medals of the IJF General Secretary Jean-Luc Rouget.
In the 52 kg weight category, Reka Pupp delighted the fans by defeating the young Italian Giulia Karna with two waza-ari points to win the first gold medal of the tournament for Hungary.
All the small children present, the future of Hungarian judo, cheered on their hero as they managed to take a quick selfie with the brilliant Pupp. She was awarded medals by Ultima Capital CEO Max-Hervé George.
“Thank you very much, it is a great joy for me to win a medal, including at home, in Hungary,” said the excited one. “This is actually my first medal at home, I’ve been in the final block before but unfortunately it didn’t work out, but today I was able to give back to my home crowd everything they have given me over the years.”
On that day, one of the miraculous Abe brothers and sisters also returned. Abe Hifumi came here for his first tournament since winning the Tokyo Olympics, and he looked like he never left.
In every competition he demonstrated his breathtaking explosive judo, one powerful technique after another, he seemed invincible.
In the final, he faced youngster Rakhimjon Subkhonov from Uzbekistan, and in a well-calculated attack, he launched the Uzbek and scored a dynamic waza-ari score. The medals were presented by the General Director of Athens, Paolo Naoni.
After that, Abe was more confident than ever.
“Looking at the competition, I would say no one can beat me right now. Yes, no one can defeat me,” Abe said.
In the weight category up to 57 kg, Haruka Funakubo from Japan defeated Rafaela Silva from Brazil. She was awarded the gold medal by IOC member Daniel Gyurta.
All in all it was a great judo day and it’s easy to see why Hungary is a regular stop on the Judo World Tour.