Already the holder of seven medals on the world circuit and two world junior medals (silver and bronze), Marusa Stangar (SLO) is far from being an unknown. However, her last significant result on the World Judo Tour dates back to November 2022, during the Baku Grand Slam with a bronze medal, and then to 2021 with a third place at the Tbilisi Grand Slam. Between the two, a few results at continental level did not allow her to be one of the favourites in Linz.
Final, Marusa Stangar (SLO) vs Laura Martinez Abelenda (ESP)

This did not seem to bother her too much, as Marusa qualified for the final, having knocked out the number one seed, Francesca Milani (ITA) in the quarter-finals, and Brazil's Natasha Ferreira in the semi-finals.

Final, Marusa Stangar (SLO) vs Laura Martinez Abelenda (ESP)

Shira Rishony, who has been one of the mainstays of the Israeli team for several years, thought she could join Stangar in the final, but she did not count on the fighting spirit of Laura Martinez Abelanda (ESP) who demonstrated the good health of the Iberian team right now.

Gold Medallist Marusa Stangar (SLO)

After only thirty seconds, Laura Martinez Abelanda executed an acrobatic uchi-mata, which was awarded waza-ari. Always first to attack, the Spanish competitor was creating opportunities one after another, while she was also preventing Stangar from building her own system of attack. In judo, though, everything is always possible. Against all odds, the Slovenian judoka pinned Martinez Abelanda for ippon after brilliant work in ne-waza. The gold medal goes to Stangar and Slovenia.

Bronze medal contest, Francesca Milani (ITA) vs Shira Rishony (ISR)

Francesca Milani (ITA) and Shira Rishony (ISR) battled for the first bronze medal. Milani was the first to action with a superb o-soto-gari that caught Rishony by surprise. Despite her efforts the Israeli judoka couldn't manage to score, her seoi-nage attempts remaining unfruitful. The bronze medal went to Milani and Italy, her first medal at a grand prix.

Bronze medal contest, Tomoka Arakawa (JPN) vs Natasha Ferreira (BRA)

Tomoka Arakawa (JPN) and Natasha Ferreira (BRA) offered themselves the possibility of getting on the podium. In less than 30 seconds, Arakawa took a strong lead with a rolling kata-guruma for waza-ari. Totally overpowered by her opponent, Ferreira was in survival mode until she was caught on the floor with an immobilisation for ippon. Today Arakawa was the stronger of the two, to win her first bronze medal on the World Judo Tour.

Medals, cheques and gifts were presented by Mr Lovrencij GALUF, President of the Slovenian Judo Federation, and Ms Korina KORNER, General Secretary of the Austrian Judo Federation

Bronze Medal Fights (-48 kg)

See also