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May 16, 2020 2 min read

Judo-World-Masters-2019-Qingdao-CASSE-Matthias
Preview: Judo-World-Masters-2019-Qingdao-KRPALEK-LukasPreview: Judo-World-Masters-2019-Qingdao-POLLERES-Michaela
This weekend, the last qualifying event of the year was held in Qingdao, China - The IJF World Masters. In this exclusive event, only the top 36 in the world in each weight division are invited to participate - The level of the competition is extremely high and so are the number of Olympic qualification points at stake. Of the Ippon Gear team, three athletes managed to clinch a medal.

First and foremost, we raise our hands for the newly crowned IJF World Masters Champion in the category under 81 kg; Matthias Casse of Belgium. The only 22 years old Casse has been developing extremely fast and what an incredible year he had, capturing first the European title, later a World silver medal and now, as icing on the cake, the World Masters title. Proud does not even cover it but we could not be happier about standing behind an athlete like Matthias and we are very excited to see what the next year will bring for him.

Czech hero Lukas Krpalek was almost able to repeat the performance of Casse, as he made it to final of the men’s +100 kg category, where he unfortunately had to withdraw due to an injury. Nevertheless, another amazing result for the Czech superstar to round up a great year and finishing as the World Number 1 in the heavy weight division.

Anna Maria Wagner of Germany could be delighted about picking up an amazing bronze medal in the -78 kg category. The tall German had an incredibly successful season, having fought her way to the final of not less than five World Tour events but unfortunately missed out at both the European- and World Championships. This weekend, Anna was once again able to show her best self, which was awarded with a well-deserved bronze medal.

In the category under 70 kg, Michaela Polleres of Austria narrowly missed out on a medal. Polleres is another of our young athletes, who seems to be on a constant development but despite the fact, that she is one of the most consistent athletes in her category, the Austrian Powerhouse had to settle for a 5th place this time. Nevertheless, we are sure to see her on another podium in the very near future.

This event concluded the year 2019 and we are now getting ready to go into the last phase of the Olympic Qualification period. We are proud to have so many great and young athletes on the team chasing the Olympic dream and picking up three medals in an event like the IJF World Masters. We can’t wait for 2020 to start!

Jorge Catena
Jorge Catena