The Austrian Grappling Open, first tournament organized under the FILA rules in Austria, took place in Dornbirn on 6 June 2009. The competition brought together over 120 beginner and advanced grapplers from 5 countries (Austria, Germany, Italy, Hungary, and Switzerland) and was extremely well organized by the Dornbirn Grappling Union, host of the tournament. The competition started with a rule review led by Mr. Rafael Perlungher, Head of Grappling Europe and FILA Grappling Instructor. The rules proved themselves to be very effective and ensured a smooth competition with a high submission rate and impartial refeeing. The great performance of the Dornbirn Grappling Union in the Gi division must be noted with a total of 11 medals (beginners and advanced combined). The 66kg category was notably won by the organizer of the tournament, Mr. Roland Laritz, whose high experience in grappling will undoubtedly make him one of the keyplayers within the European Grappling Committee. In 74kg, the gold was won by Gerhard Tenh?ndfeld (Team Jens Kirim Germany) who has been taking part in the FILA events since 2007 with his participation in the first World Wrestling Games in Antalya and in the World Championship in 2008. The performance of Michaela Amann (Dornbirn Grappling Union) in 55kg was also cheered by everyone.

The No-Gi tournament was led by the Yogaka MMA Academy (Lucerne, Switzerland) that won 7 medals and proved its high technical level throughout the tourament. The most intense match of the day was probably the one that opposed Peter Mettler (Yogaka MMA Academy) and Gerhard Tenh?ndfeld in 74kg. Peter Mettler who was the highest ranked Swiss grappler in the 2008 World Championship (5th in No-Gi 70kg) confirmed his great technical skills and the international grappling scene should definitely count him among one of its very promising talents. The German Top Team also accomplished great successes with a gold medal for its founder Peter Angerer in 84kg, a gold medal for Stefan Hoss in 66kg and a silver medal for Benjamin N?ssle in 96kg. Stefan Hoss also participated in the 2008 World Championship and made 7th in the 62kg division. In 96kg, the gold medal was won by Marius Maissen (Fight Gym Aarau) who organized the first Swiss Open last year and who will host the third edition on 19 September 2009.

The results of the tournament can be downloaded at the following link and an article published in the Vorarlberg News can be consulted here. FILA would like to congratulate Mr. Roland Laritz and his staff for the great event they put up and encourage the Austrian Grappling Committee to continue on this path.

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