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Hashimoto vs An? Or European influence. World Preview U73kg
30 Aug 2017 00:05
The top favourite for the World Championships in Budapest in the category U73kg is also the IJF number 1 ranked player: Soichi Hashimoto of Japan. Armed with impressive throwing skills, he is able to throw to the left and right, with equal facility. He remains undefeated this year and all of last year.
Along the way, Hashimoto has picked up gold medals at the 2016 Asian Championships, 2016 IJF World Masters, 2016 Tokyo Grand Slam, 2017 Paris Grand Slam and 2017 Ekaterinburg Grand Slam. Confident, stylish and effective, Hashimoto is the man everyone will be looking out for in Budapest.
One of Hashimoto's main rivals will be An Changrim, arguably South Korea's best prospect for a gold medal in any category. He is Asian champion this year, but has not fought much since the Olympics. In the 2017 Paris Grand Slam (the only IJF World Tour event he took part in since the 2016 Rio Olympics) An got a silver medal, losing to none other than Hashimoto.
Hashimoto's other key rival is Olympic silver medalist Rustam Orujov of Azerbaijan. Always at or near the top of the IJF rankings, he's very active and takes part in a lot of IJF World Tour events. This year he lost to An and to his compatriot Hidayat Heydarov (twice), though.
Speaking of Heydarov, both he and Orujov will be competing in Budapest. Heydarov is still very young at just 19, but is the current European champion. He also won the 2017 Islamic Solidarity Games defeating his teammate Orujov in the final. He has also beaten Orujov earlier in the year at the 2017 Paris Grand Slam.
Dark horses are Georgia's Lasha Shavdatuashvili, the 2012 former Olympic champion (albeit at a lower weight class) who has been training heavily on grips with 2004 Olympic Champion Ilias Iliadis last week. How about Russia's Dennis Iartcev, who holds the distinction of being the last European player to have beaten the great Shohei Ono (but that was back in 2014 in the World Team Championships). Alas, Ono is not fighting in the World's as he did not take part in the Japanese trials this year (ostensibly due to wanting to focus on his academic studies).
Possible quarter finals among seeded players
Soichi Hashimoto vs Marcelop Contini
Tommy Macias vs Hidayet Heydarov
Rustam Orujov vs Tohar Butbul
Chang-Rim An vs Odbayar Ganbaatar
Previous World Champions
1999 Jimmy Pedro (USA)
2001 Vitaly Makarov (RUS)
2003 Won-Hee Lee (KOR)
2005 Ákos Braun (HUN)
2007 Ki-Chun Wang (KOR)
2009 Ki-Chun Wang (KOR)
2010 Hiroyuki Akimoto (JPN)
2011 Riki Nakaya (JPN)
2013 Shohei Ono (JPN)
2014 Riki Nakaya (JPN)
2015 Shohei Ono (JPN)
The Game Changers
Miklós Ungvári is the silver medallist at the 2012 Olympic Games. He won three World Championship bronze medals in 2005, 2007 and 2009. He won three European titles in 2002, 2009 and 2011 and was 5th at the Olympic Games in Rio in his category U73kg. He won a bronze medal at the Grand Slam in Baku in 2017. This is likely his last event, at home and giving everything for the home crowd.
Brazilian Marcelo Contini won some major events such as the Grand Prix in Cancun this year and took silver at the Grand Slam in Ekaterinburg. With his good form and experience he can be a roadblock for many.
Victor Scvortov (UAE) won a World Championship medal in 2014 and belongs with the top players.
Russian Musa Mogushkov is a smart fox who captured World bronze in 2014 U73kg. He took silver at the European Championships in Warsaw in 2017.
Check the Stats generator which country dominated this category over history
Tommy Macias vs Hidayet Heydarov
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