Home » Judo news
The latest Judo News offered by JudoInside.com
Ilias Iliadis among the guests in Abu Dhabi
27 Oct 2016 16:05
The IJF World Judo Tour has stopped in Croatia (Zagreb Grand Prix) and Uzbekistan (Tashkent Grand Prix) following the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and has now arrived in Abu Dhabi for the penultimate Grand Slam of the year. Grand Slams have been held in Paris (France), Baku (Azerbaijan) and Tyumen (Russia) already this year with the season set to finish in December with the fifth and final Grand Slam in Tokyo (Japan). Triple World Champion and 2004 Olympic Champion Ilias Iliadis watched the draw this time from another point of view and saw some good matches to look out for.
Havana Grand Prix winner Eric Takabatake (BRA) will be looking to lead from the front when he steps onto the tatami on #WorldJudoDay as the top seed in the -60kg category. The Brazilian will aim to finish ahead of recent standouts such as Tashkent Grand Prix silver medallist Matjaz Trbovc (SLO) and Tyumen Grand Slam silver medallist Albert Oguzov (RUS).
Zagreb Grand Prix winner Andraz Jereb (SLO) will have Olympic and world medallists to deal with in the -66kg category as one of the strongest fields in the competition. Jereb, 24, who took bronze at the Tashkent Grand Prix earlier this month, is the top seed ahead of former world silver medallist Azamat Mukanov (KAZ), London 2012 Olympic champion Arsen Galstyan (RUS) and Pan American Championships winner Charles Chibana (BRA) – who lost to eventual Olympic bronze medallist Ebinuma Masashi (JPN) in Rio.
Rio 2016 Olympic silver medallist Rustam Orujov (AZE) graces the IJF World Judo Tour as an Olympic medallist for the first time in Abu Dhabi and will start as a heavy favourite. Orujov has Tyumen Grand Slam winner Musa Mogushkov (RUS) alongside him at -73kg while Zagreb Grand Prix silver medallist Tommy Macias (SWE) will aim to win a first Grand Slam medal. Former world bronze medallist Victor Scvortov (U.A.E) is one of the hosts’ leading judoka and will be in medal contention.
U.A.E hero Sergiu Toma (U.A.E) won his country’s second Olympic medal in their history when he won bronze at Rio 2016. Toma will receive a rapturous ovation and will be fancied to win gold in front of his home fans. World bronze medallist Victor Penalber (BRA) fell short at the Olympics and will need to be motivated and in good condition to medal in Abu Dhabi. Former Paris Grand Slam bronze medallist Frank De Wit (NED) is still only 20 years old and will be a fighter to look out for in this new Olympic cycle.
Baku Grand Slam silver medallist Aleksandar Kukolj (SRB) is the top seed on the Grand Slam stage for the first time in his career and the world number 14 will expect to produce a similar result in the Emirates. Kukolj, 25, was fifth at the European Championships this year and is Serbia’s top men’s medal hope in Abu Dhabi. Almaty Grand Prix winner Axel Clerget (FRA) mounted a late bid for Rio 2016 selection with a run of top displays on the IJF World Judo Tour but graciously backed teammate Alexander Iddir (FRA) who was impactful for the full course of the last Olympic cycle and earned the pick for France. Clerget competes for the first time since a fifth-place at the World Judo Masters and will be in action along with Glasgow European Open winner Max Stewart (GBR).
Former world champion Elkhan Mammadov (AZE) was one of the most vocal Azerbaijan supporters in the stands in Rio as he watched -100kg compatriot Elmar Gasimov (AZE) take silver. The Azeri veteran could be signing off from the Grand Slam stage at 34 years old but will still pack the power to trouble the likes of Rio 2016 Olympian Rafael Buzacarini (BRA) and former world champion Luciano Correa (BRA).
World Judo Masters winner Daniel Natea (ROU) won the Zagreb Grand Prix in September in his comeback following an early exit in Rio. World number four Natea, 24, is far from being the finished product and needs consistent and clinical wins to build himself up as a potential threat to double Olympic champion Teddy Riner (FRA). David Moura (BRA) had to watch from the stands in Rio as heavyweight colleague Rafael Silva (BRA) represented the hosts in the heavyweight category and won his second Olympic bronze medal. Moura has added muscle mass and trained all summer as he awaited the start of the new Olympic cycle and will be looking to stand toe-to-toe with judoka such as former Tyumen Grand Slam bronze medallist Soslan Bostanov (RUS) before an expected showdown with Natea in the latter stages on Sunday.
Related judoka and events
Related Judo Photos
Related Judo Videos
Related Judo News
On Friday the European Club Championships will take place in Romania. Romania celebrates 100 years and for this occasion the best world class athletes are in Bucharest for the annual Team Championships with the best clubs of Europe. Not just with European athletes but clubs have attracted world wide presence of athletes. Read more
Ilias Iliadis (GRE), along with Paula Pareto (ARG), are the Athlete Role Models (ARM) for Judo at the Buenos Aires Youth Olympic Games, a role that is important to them and of which they measure the importance. Read more
Rising up in Georgia across the nation’s separation from the Soviet Union, his childhood had been powerful. Again then, lured to judo by its self-discipline, the long run Olympic champion was often known as Jarji Zviadauri. Ilias Iliadis well know as a real judo hero. Read more
Switching nations seems are still a trend, as judo is overwhelmed with judoka who switch nation, either to get a chance, either to get better financial circumstances. Although switches all from all times, but this Olympic cycle it's a method. With the latest three Mongolian athletes a new wave of many has started with the Tokyo 2020 Games ahead more will follow Read more
The preliminary matches of the World Open Championships in Marrakech saw some great battles and surprising results. Especially the lighter judokas such as Nikiforov and Granda excelled in this openweight category and qualified for the semi finals. The return of Ilias Iliadis was just great to see when he was opposed to Roy Meyer. The Greek came back for the new generation and the generous smile after his contest was full of warmth for judo. Read more
Andrea Bekic (CRO)