Fantastic day for the fans on the second day of the Croatian Judo Grand Prix

On the second day of the Judo Grand Prix in Zagreb, Croatia, even more highlights were demonstrated.

The official opening ceremony was attended by Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia Tomo Medved and Vice President of the International Judo Federation and President of the European Judo Union Laszlo Toth.

Also present was Sanda Corak, Education Director of the International Judo Federation and President of the Croatian Judo Federation.

They witnessed a special demonstration by the FUJI Judo Club for people with disabilities.

Canadian Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard had a phenomenal day in the 63kg category, claiming her second World Tour title.

The ceremony was attended by Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia Tomo Medved.

World silver medalist Manuel Lombardo from Italy has made a splash since he moved up in the weight class, but gold in the 73 kg weight class has eluded him until now. He won the final in the very first exchange.

He was awarded medals by Lisa Allan and then talked about his hopes for the World Championships.

“I have 100% in the final block at the World Championships, but 100% loss in the final block, so I will try to do better in Tashkent,” Lombardo said.

Croatian world champion Barbara Matic was in the spotlight.

Because the hopes of the nation were pinned on her, she came out strong, with spectacular ippons, which earned her a place in the final.

There she met Miriam Butkereit from Germany, where the decisive result earned her a gold medal in front of her adoring fans, a great moment for Croatian judo, and an autograph and selfie chance for the next generation of Croatian judokas.

She was awarded the medal by Yasuhiro Yamashita, a member of the IJF Executive Committee and a member of the International Olympic Committee.

“I’m glad that everyone is cheering my name, it’s like a motivation for me, so it’s good, yes,” an excited Matic said.

The Frenchman Alfa Djalo weighed less than 81 kg and was in good shape.

The explosive Frenchman made it to the final where he faced former world champion and Olympic silver medalist Saed Mollaei.

A moment of pure dynamism brought him a decisive result and earned Djalo his first ever World Tour gold medal.

Florin Daniel Lasko, Chief Referee Director of the IJF, presented the medals.

With Matic in the spotlight, which didn’t stop the rest of the team from performing – the move of the IJF day came from Iva Oberan with this fantastic Ippon that gave the local fans even more joy – a great way to end the second day of the Zagreb Grand Prix.