4 August 2023


Hungary Masters 2023


Host Hungary had to do without a podium place on the first day of the Hungary World Judo Masters in Budapest. The fifth place of Reka Pupp (-52) remained the only countable result. The 27-year-old, ranked number four in the world, had finished third at the Masters in Jerusalem (ISR) in December 2022 and since then had been on the podium no less than four times on the World Tour. The only exception was a fifth-place finish at the World Championships in Doha in May this year. “I felt really good the whole day, I really wanted to repeat the experience of Jerusalem, the third place including the award ceremony, also in Budapest before my home crowd. Until the bronze medal fight, things were actually going really well, but against Gefen Primo (ISR) I just never found my fighting rhythm and in the end I deserved to lose. As much as it hurts,” Reka Pupp said self-critically. “I would have loved to win bronze in my home country. That was my declared goal. It hurts that I didn’t succeed. I specifically told my family to please stay at home. I don’t like that. But I still was very nervous…”
Hungary’s women’s national coach Akus Braun was no less disappointed: “Reka would have absolutely deserved the medal, she fought very confidently the whole day. It really hurts now that she only finished fifth again (like at the World Championships in Doha).”
The 1,500 home spectators created a good atmosphere despite the Hungarian medal lull. With two days left, Attila Ungvari (-81/seeded No. 5) and Krisztian Toth (-90/6) are believed to make it to the podium. “I will sit in the stands and keep my fingers crossed for both of them,” promised Reka Pupp and a first hint of a smile flitted across her face.


Author: EJU Media