31 March 2024


Antalya Grand Slam 2024


Talk usually surrounds the two-time World Champion, Barbara MATIC of Croatia, and though she continues her reign and claimed gold in Tbilisi last week, it is her younger compatriots stealing the show in Antalya.

Frist up was Ana Viktorija PULJIZ who took her first Grand Slam medal only last week in Tbilisi, then added another to the collection, defeating Olympic medallist Odette GIUFFRIDA (ITA) for a bronze.

Then on day two, the success snowballed with Katarina KRISTO and Iva OBERAN, who ended up in a head to head for the -63kg bronze medal. Kristo already grabbed attention earlier in the year, landing a spot in the -63kg final against Clarisse AGBEGNENOU (FRA) in the Paris Grand Slam. Today, she displayed tremendous strength, and even greater emotion at her win. These are important times for the pair whose thoughts are solely on qualification, as well as their nation hosting the 2024 European Championships in less than four weeks.

I’m really proud of myself and happy with this medal. I had two tournaments that didn’t go as planned, but the training was pretty hard so I wasn’t so fresh for them. Today though, I showed I’m feeling good and I have more in the tank. I have a small pause before the European Championships, I have time for some hard training because I want to take a medal there and then go to the Olympics.

The result was important today, it is hard against your team mate, we train together a lot, she knows me, I know her, we share a room so it can be hard. It was tactical for us, it had to be to find a way on top to qualify for the Olympic Games. She was above me in the ranking, just under 200 points so I really needed this medal, it was so important. We still have more tournaments to come and it’ll be hard but today at least I can say I’m happy.


Author: Thea Cowen