Marko Bubanja is happy to be back. After a short switch to Montenegro he came back last year in Austria and on Sunday he won his first ever World Cup event. In his weight category U90kg the 23-year old defeated Ourouzmag Magkeyev of France. Bubanja became Austrian champion U100kg but U90kg is his real weight category but there ‘s enough international competition.
In Düsseldorf last week 62 participants, more than ever in the World Tour. This weekend in Warsaw also 45 athletes and Bubanja had to win six contest including the semi final against Piotr Kuczera from Poland.
In Warsaw France was the only country to win two gold medals. U66kg Sascha Flament defeated Ibrahim Aliyev of France. Alexandre Mariac (FRA) and Dzmitry Minkou (BLR) won bronze and showed they still matter in this category. Also last year Minkou medalled but has a tough time reaching his previous form. Maybe this is a good motivation for the important European Games later this year in Minsk.
Delvert is constant
Clement Delvert won the second gold for France as he defeated Jelle Snippe of the Netherlands in the final in his fifth contest of the day. It’s the fifth World Cup victory for Delvert since 2013. Last four years he won a World Cup consequently. His opponent Snippe is in a good shape and won a few contest last week in Düsseldorf and kept World Champion Cho off from scoring for a long time. This week he won three bouts but stranded for gold against Delvert. Danish Matthias Madsen won the bronze after he had lost to Snippe in the semi final but came back against Zalan Ohat (HUN) for bronze. Cedric Olivar was the second Frenchman to medal. France won seven medals this weekend.
Azerbaijan opened the first weight category with gold for Oruj Valizada with Frenchmen Vincent Manquest and 2016 European Champion Walide Khyar taking bronze. Valizada bested Polish homefighter Bartlomiej Garbacik in the final and is now one of two fighters with two World Cup victories this season as Valizada also won gold in Rome.
U73kg Wiktor Mrowczynski took silver after his lost final against Russian Oleg Babgoev. Mrowczynski was good last week as well in Düsseldorf and an international medal was a matter of time. Babgoev won his first World Cup gold.
Druzeta Croatian hope
Dominik Druzeta is one of the best talents of Croatia and confirmed his talent in Warsaw taking gold. Druzeta booked his first European World Cup win. Two years ago he won in Lima but the Croatian Champion improved his skills and the 2017 runner up of the European U23 Championships may get close to the medals in the IJF Tour with renewed confidence. In the final U81kg he defeated Ukrainian Bohdan Zusko. There was bronze for Andrea Regis (ITA) and Polish veteran Lukasz Blach who became the oldest ever World Cup medallist for his country in the history, aged 34.
Jelle Snippe was close to gold U100kg but Holland did win gold afterall. The youngest winner of the weekend became Jur Spijkers. The heavyweight was the winner in the golden score against Mircea Croitoru (ROU). Patryk Broniec won the Polish battle for bronze from big man Maciej Sarnacki.
Next week the IJF Tour continues in Marrakech and the Pan American Open series start in Lima.