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Two Olympic medallists among 253 judoka at Grand Prix Antalya
6 Apr 2017 23:35
This weekend the World Tour moves on to Antalya in Turkey which is the new location for the Grand Prix held in Samsun over the past three years. New President Sezer Huysuz welcomed the coaches and athletes of 34 nations and a total of 253 athletes will be fighting in the city that has been asked to organize the World Junior Championships as well in October.
Among the participants in Antalya two Olympic medallists such as Lukas Krpalek fighting +100kg and trying to generate more luck than in Düsseldorf. In the women’s U48kg category Otgontsetseg Galbadrakh (KAZ) as number one seed.
Galbadrakh is one of the highest ranked athletes together with Kathrin Unterwurzacher (AUT) who took bronze last week in Tbilisi and Elvismar Rodriguez who continues to book impressive results this year. She won bronze at the Grand Slam in Paris, Silver in Baku and silver in Tbilisi last week. She may face Barbara Matic, who’s however in a pool U70kg that we cannot underestimate.
Kayra Sayit will be the number one favourite for a Turkish medal, although many good Turkish athletes are fighting +78kg.
Bekir Ozlu is one of the favourites for the home crowd U60kg and the double Olympian for Georgia and Turkey has a chance indeed. The category U66kg is internationally more attractive with two strong Mongolians who may battle in the final; Davaadorj and Dovdon. Also the category U73kg is interesting with Boboev as highest seeded athlete, but the competition will be severe and with Heydarov, Butbul and Draksic a nice selection among 26 men, the same number as U81kg. Aleksandar Kukolj of Serbia is the man U90kg with appealing results this year. U100kg Mammadov, Bisultanov but also Ilyasov, Cirjenics and Rakov are candidates for the title.
Hungarian Barna Bor must compete with guys like Culum, Sadikovic, Kokauri, Krakovetskii and Olympic champion U100kg Lukas Krpalek for the medals.
It’s going to be nice despite a record low participants field compared to the last three editions. In fact the major bunch is still at ease and the new generation is picking up the new points in the ranking. The continental championships in April May give some indications of the form.
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Ihor Zasyadkovych (UKR)
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