At the European Open in Prague, three weight categories got the women off to an early start with the rest of the field to follow during the day. The first gold of the day was captured by Ukrainian mega-talent Daria Bilodid. The European Junior champion defeated Cinta Garcia Mesa of Spain in the final by ippon with 15 seconds left in regular time.
Bilodid won five matches in a field of 26 women. She is likely to continue her success at senior level as her debut resulted in podium topping performance. German Katharina Menz and Gulader Senturk of Turkey took bronze. The last time the women fought in Prague was 2013.
Brazilian Jessica Perreira took the victory for women U52kg. The former vice world champion in the Juniors in 2013 was the best among 27 women. The seeded players didn’t disappoint in Prague and Perreira won her pool by defeating number one seed Karolina Pienkowska (POL) in the semi final. In the final she bested Darya Skrypnik of Belarus with two wazari and ippon in just a minute. The 2015 World bronze medallist Skrypnik bested Estrella Lopez Sheriff (ESP) in the semi final, but the Spainard still made the podium with bronze. Croatian Tena Sikic, who lost to Lopez Sheriff in the quarter final, came back in the repechage and won bronze against Pienkowska.
Polish Anna Borowska seems to have returned to her old performance level. The 2014 European Junior champion was out of competition for quite some time and made a successful comeback in Prague after she was eliminated in Oberwart two weeks ago. This time she won the event in the final against Dutch woman Margriet Bergstra. Borowska won her five matches, including the semi final against German Viola Waechter who hadn’t been out on the tatami since May 2016. Waechter won the bronze in this class (U57kg) where in Germany the competition is severe. Waechter is on her own now and wasn’t invited for the Grand Prix in Düsseldorf, but she was able to take an important medal in Prague. Anna Kazyulina of Kazakhstan took the second bronze after her final bout against her country woman Nishanbayeva.
The other weight categories continue throughout the afternoon in Prague.