The second edition of the Upper Austria Grand Prix finished with an outstanding final block, a day 3 closer to be proud of in every way. Big ippon judo, legends of the sport showing their love for it, organisational correctness, teamwork and lots more, all came together to make it a perfect Olympic qualifier.

The end-of-event medal table had Brazil at the top, thanks to Goncalves, Pimenta and Souza’s gold medals, two coming on the third day to springboard them above Japan who had excelled on day one, indicating a trend that would not be confirmed.

Pan America, Asia and Europe each had nations in the top five, including Cuba with their incredible squad of veterans, bolstered by Perez’s gold for Puerto Rico on day two, another veteran who raised her country’s flag, pushing the PUR country code into the top ten of nations.

Maria Perez (PUR).

There was International Women’s Day, celebrated in style across Upper Austria’s capital, thanks, in part, to a unified effort from the IJF team to promote the very best achievements from the women in judo who strive to earn their places by being those most suited to them regardless of gender. IWD gets bigger every year and with the IOC’s push to make sport an even playing field, the Paris Olympic Games declared as a 100% gender neutral global event, the world is continuing to aim at a time when such initiatives will no longer be necessary.

Thank you to the Austrian Judo Federation and to all involved for making the Upper Austria Grand Prix and International Women’s Day the best they could be. Next year’s World Judo Tour event in Linz is already eagerly awaited. For now the judo world turns its gaze to Georgia as the Tbilisi Grand Slam comes into focus.

See also