By Jake Smith
Two of the biggest prospects at 115lbs, Anna Gaul and Nina Back, are set to face each other in the semi-finals of the 2021 IMMAF Senior & Junior World Cup, in Prague, Czech Republic.
In her first bout of the competition, Gaul faced Henriietta Tsukerman. In what was a complete domination, Gaul showed she was happy to pick up where she left off at her previous IMMAF competition, taking the fight to Tsukerman and finishing the contest via an armbar midway through the opening round.
The semi-final will mark Back’s maiden bout at the World cup, having received a bye from the opening round due to an uneven number of athletes competing at the weight division.
Both women feature regularly at IMMAF competitions, having completed 18 bouts.
Gaul holds a staggeringly impressive record, having never left an IMMAF tournament she’s competed in, without a medal. She is no stranger to the top of the IMMAF podium claiming gold at both the 2019 Junior European and World Championships.
After five IMMAF competitions, Back will be keen to get her hands on the gold, a feat which has eluded the young Swedish national up until this point. However, she is not without her fair share of IMMAF credentials. From four of the five IMMAF tournaments she’s featured at, Back has walked away with a silver medal, securing them at the 2018 European Championships, 2018 World Championships, 2019 European Championships, 2020 Oceania Open Championships.
Back enters the contest as the much more experienced athlete, having competed 16 times, as opposed to Gaul’s 7 amateur appearances. With an array of finishes across their records, both women have already displayed their elaborate skill sets on their way to this bout.
All bouts at the 2021 IMMAF Senior & Junior World Cup can be watched live on IMMAF.TV.