Reka Pupp progresses to Grand Slam gold
It was Reka Pupp who forced Olympic champion at U48kg in Tokyo Distria Krasniqi to take a reality check. The Hungarian won by ippon with authority, which means that Krasniqi still needs time to be as competitive as she was at the previous weight. Krasniqi has decided to return to the category she likes the most, the one that suits her best, according to her.
The Kosovar Krasniiqi would have to monitor the British Chelsie Giles and the Hungarian Reka Pupp closely because anything is possible. Today was that day in Baku.
It is also normal as it is her first tournament since Tokyo and she has a lot to refine; it’s nothing serious. Pupp continued on her way to the final. So did Giles. The Brit is having a sensational year with gold at the Tel Aviv Grand Slam, silver at the Tbilisi Grand Slam and bronze at the Olympics. In Baku she wanted to extend her winning streak by beating Pupp in a final between the two best fighters of the category but to wish and to do are not the same thing.
They reached golden score and it seemed that Giles was slightly superior. It just looked like it though, as Pupp won with uchi-mata from the ends of the sleeves, marking the Hungarian's first grand slam title.
“I was really preparing mentally for the first match of the day and it was my hardest fight. I started today the same way I started at the Tokyo Olympic Games: facing an Olympic champion from Kosovo. Even though she came up from -48kg, she still has a big name and strong judo and I wanted to prove that I could do it again. Overall, I am very satisfied with my first competition in the new cycle, beating two Olympic medallists and taking gold.”