LEJLA TOPALOVIC NEW SILVER MEDAL IN A VIBRANT FINAL AT THE ZADAR 2024 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP

An exciting -61 kg final of the European Championship in Zadar/Croatia: Lejla TOPALOVIC already led 5:2 over Ingrida Bakos Suchankova (SVK), the tie at 5:5 came with 1.6 seconds left after a VR by ippon from Slovakia and gave up 0.7 seconds lead on decisive 5:6 at the end after another VR.
Winning a silver medal in a final of this level speaks well of the level demonstrated by TOPALOVIC throughout the competition.
Her concentration, focus and consistency in each of her fights led her to a fully deserved final and thus added to her first continental medal.

The number 31 in the world ranking took a 1-0 lead at minute 1:30 and with it Senshu. After the tie, thanks to a video review requested by national coach Juan Luis Benítez Cárdenes, so she increased the score to 3:1 via wazari, making perfect use of his much longer reach and making it 5:2 after 30 seconds. end. But then three-time Premier League winner and 2022 European champion Ingrida Bakos (SVK) hit an ippon to make it 5:5 with 1.6 seconds left and the decisive tsuki with 0.7 seconds left.

The 23-year-old, who does her daily preparation at the Olympiazentrum Oberösterreich – Linz, was able to take advantage of her performance on Wednesday, when she eliminated world number one Reem Khamis (D) 2-1 in the semifinals in a vibrant fight until the second ending. TOPALOVIC defeated Maluta (ROU) 6-1; Ajaray (BEL) 4-1 and Istogu (KOS) 2-0 in the previous rounds.

Stefan POKORNY achieved the second best result in Karate Austria by being 7. in the -75 kg category. POKORNY beat Von Platen (DEN) 2-1; Omahony (IRL) 3-2 and fell to Martinac (CRO) 1-3 in the quarterfinals. In the repechage phase he won by a clear Hantei (4-0) against Bankowski (POL) and in the fight that gave him the option to fight for the bronze medal he lost to Duarte (POR) 2-5.

Andrej TVRDON, in his first individual participation in a European Senior Championship, had to stop his good performance in the quarterfinals after a dislocated finger on his right hand.
Marina VUKOVIC won against Popelisko (LAT) 6-4 to fall in the next round against Rahmanovic (BIH) 0-5.
For their part, Bettina PLANK and Lora ZILLER fell in very close matches in the first round.

With (6) athletes in kumite in the individual category and (1) athlete in kata, the small Austrian team achieved 10th place in the medal table.

The 59th EKF Zadar 2024 is dominated by Turkey (10) Italy (9) France (7) Spain (6) and Greece (5) and Germany (5) which take about 66% of the medals, a second group with Croatia (4) Ukraine (3) and Azebaijan (2) who achieve el 14% of the medals. 20% of the medals are achieved by (13) countries with one medal each. Our small team with (7) athletes in the individual category and (2) teams achieved a very good performance, being on par in victories and defeats; the same in scores for (41) and against (44). Lejla TOPALOVIC’s SILVER plant medal covers the expectations in capital letters and the objective of the season in the senior category. Austria was one of the (16) countries to compete in a final, of the (51) participants. In relation to performance, it was one of the notable notes of all the athletes who were always close in the result of each fight, with the technical and tactical performance being the best of the season.

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