Shower of medals in Tel Aviv

Four out of four. The Spanish delegation faced the final stretch of the first day of competition at the Tel Aviv Grand Slam with four medal options and, one after another, they all fell. Fran Garrigós (-60 kg), after losing in the final against the Frenchman Luka Mkheidze, and Ana Pérez (-52 kg), after repeating the outcome against the British Chelsie Giles, won the silver medal; Mieria Lapuerta (-48 kg) and Alberto Gaitero (-66 kg), after overcoming the battle for bronze, climbed to the third drawer. One more example of the great state of Spanish judo, that closed a golden 2022 and that, in 2023, is linking positions of honor non-stop.

In the case of Garrigós, two out of two; in Lapuerta, three out of three. Neither of them has gotten off the podium in their first competitions of the year. The man from Madrid, after climbing into second place at the Portuguese Grand Prix, a little over two weeks ago, repeats metal; that of Masnou, too. In his case, with three bronzes in a row. Between the Portuguese and the Israeli tournament, he also played metal in Paris. Pérez, after beating the Bulgarian Gabriela Dimitrova, the Belgian Amber Ryheul and the German Mascha Ballhaus, signs his particular hat-trick of podiums in Slams; Piper, for his part, returns to the top international positions after his silver at the European Championships in Bulgaria last year.

“A perfect season.” This is how Fran defined her 2022 when taking stock of the year in this newspaper and so on. Only the Olympic bronze in Tokyo, as in the case of Ana Pérez, has been able to beat him in Israel. Before, he beat the Brazilian Matheus Takaki, for ipponto the Mongolian Sumiyabazar Enkhtaivan, after a very tough duel of more than six minutes, and the Belgian Jorre Verstraeten. With the Olympic rings tattooed on his right hip, he speeds off to the Olympic Games in Paris, which Spain wants to reach strongly, as shown by its international results. There is a present and there is a future, as Ai Tsunoda also extolled a few days ago in Paris, achieving gold in one of the most prestigious world judo venues.

at the perfect time

Lapuerta, winner against the Mongolian Narantsetseg Ganbaatar in Tel Aviv, is another example of this. She was a European junior bronze in 2018 and 2019 and now, at 23 years old, she is making her way among the seniors. Last year, after adding podiums in the under-23 category, he won bronzes in the Antalya Grand Slam and the Budapest Grand Prix; Now, with her tic tac toe to premiere the season, she seems determined to speed up. She is also a Piper, better than local Baruch Shamailova in the fight for third place, who feels at home in the Israeli Grand Slam. In 2021, he already got gold in the tournament. This year, he extends his idyll with the competition to the rest of the delegationwith a brilliant staging, with a shower of medals.

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