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Kazan Judo Preview U81kg: King Avtandili Tchrikishvili smells gold

22 Apr 2016 11:00

   Emmeric Le Person
20160422_Kazan_ELP_Avtandili Tchrikishvili - Ilias Iliadis

Perhaps the most competitive weight category at the European Championships in Kazan will be the men’s U81kg division. With king Avtandili Tchrikishvili we name the biggest favourite of them all. Avto won’t get it for free this time. Tchrikishvili will meet with Alexander Wieczerzak in the quarter final if everyone does what is expected, but in this category, nothing will be expected. Perhaps only King Avto fourth title. A challenge for Wieczerzak.

Roman Moustopoulos is the best seeded in pool B where also Sven Maresch is placed, a lot of talent in the pool , but if the top athletes are good, they should not have any difficulties. For sure there will be a surprise though.

This Olympic cycle European Champions

2015      Avtandili Tchrikishvili (GEO)

2014      Avtandili Tchrikishvili (GEO)

2013      Avtandili Tchrikishvili (GEO)

2012      Sirazhudin Magomedov (RUS)

To take his fourth European title he should master Russian favourite Khasan Khalmurzaev. He won the Grand Prix in Havana in January. He will meet Asaf Chen (ISR) in his first bout. 

Belgian Joachim Bottieau is an outsider, he defeated Tchrikishvili once and won the Grand Prix in Düsseldorf this year. But in Kazan Bottieau will need to surive the pool with Khalmurzaev first.

Ivaylo Ivanov of Bulgaria in a great shape. He won the Grand Prix in Samsun in April and took silver in Paris and bronze in Düsseldorf. He lost to Tchrikishvili in Paris.

Last year’s winner of the European Games in Baku were:

Avtandili Tchrikishvili (GEO)

Ivan Nifontov (RUS)

Loïc Pietri (FRA)

Alexander Wieczerzak (GER)

The last man who defeated Tchrikishvili was Dominic Ressel of Germany, but rivals Sven Maresch and Alexander Wieczerzak are the ones who should battle for the last ticket to the Summer Games, not so easy

European athletes in the IJF World Ranking

1             Avtandili Tchrikishvili (GEO)

5             Khasan Khalmurzaev (RUS)

6             Ivaylo Ivanov (BUL)

8             Alan Khubetsov (RUS)

9             Ivan Nifontov (RUS)

10          Loïc Pietri (FRA)

Our Dark horse is Dutchman Frank De Wit. He is back from a broken rib in Düsseldorf and isn’t afraid of anyone. He will need some more points to qualify. The World Junior Champion is 2- years young. He can be the second youngest medallist ever in this category behind Ilias Iliadis in 2004 who was 17, an exception. It tells us that the men U81kg must have a certain maturity to win a medal here. Perhaps De Wit can join Loïc Pietri, Avtandili Tchrikishvili and Alexander Wieczerzak, all European medallist and former World Junior champion. But first he will have to pass Cristian Bodirlau, perhaps again Laszlo Csoknyai and Ivaylo Ivanov who may be the biggest challenger for king Avto.

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Related Judo Photos

  • Ivan Nifontov (RUS), Loïc Pietri (FRA), Alexander Wieczerzak (GER), Avtandili Tchrikishvili (GEO) - European Games Baku (2015, AZE) - © Emir Incegul, Turkish Judo Federation
  • Avtandili Tchrikishvili (GEO), Ivaylo Ivanov (BUL) - Grand Slam Paris (2016, FRA) - © IJF Media Team, IJF
  • Avtandili Tchrikishvili (GEO) - European Championships Kazan (2016, RUS) - © Emir Incegul, Turkish Judo Federation

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