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Preview U70kg Chizuru Arai slight favourite in open category

1 Sep 2017 03:55

 JudoInside & JudoCrazy    IJF Media Team / International Judo Federation
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The top favourites for the U70kg gold at the World Championships in Budapest are all within the Top 3 in the IJF Rankings, but it's the No. 3, Japan's Chizuru Arai, who looks to be the leading candidate for the top spot in Budapest. Her track record is impressive with 2016 Tyumen Grand Slam gold, 2017 Paris Grand Slam gold, and 2017 Dusseldorf Grand Prix gold.

Colombia's Yuri Alvear is also a major contender as she does remarkably well at the World's. She's won it three times already; she’s a legend. She also has a good competition record in the lead-up to the World's. However, she's already 31 while Arai has got youth on her side at 23.

The WRL No. 1, Elvismar Rodriguez (who fights for the IJF), is definitely a contender, but she doesn't yet have the track record of either Arai or Alvear. It has been up and down, but given her age a remarkable good position, she shows incredible potiential. Hungary is her second home training at the IJF training centre.

Sanne van Dijke became European Champion and proved to be among the top athletes. She can throw, is often ruthless, and may snatch a medal in Budapest. Her French rival Marie Eve Gahie is tall and the European bronze medallist. She won gold in Bucharest this year and is a European Junior champion.

Barbara Matic, Maria Portela, Maria Bernabeu, and Kelita Zupancic are the remaining seeded players, they are all at the same level, but can expect some challenge from a group of non-seeded roadblocks: Pogacnik, Bernholm, Perez, Bolder, who are all capable of upsetting the top athletes.

Quarter finals could be, but won’t be:

Elvismar Rodriguez vs Maria Bernabeu

Yuri Alvear vs Maria Portela

Chizuru Arai vs Barbara Matić

Sanne Van Dijke Marie Eve Gahié

Previous World Champions

1999      Sibelis Veranes (CUB)

2001      Masae Ueno (JPN)

2003      Masae Ueno (JPN)

2005      Edith Bosch (NED)

2007      Gévrise Emane (FRA)

2009      Yuri Alvear (COL)

2010      Lucie Decosse (FRA)

2011      Lucie Decosse (FRA)

2013      Yuri Alvear (COL)

2014      Yuri Alvear (COL)

2015      Gévrise Emane (FRA)

The Game Changers

Sally Conway took an Olympic bronze medal in Rio 2016 for Great Britain. She won silver medal at the Grand Prix in Cancun in 2017. At a World Championships she hasn't yet been successful, but the Olympic medal may have given her magic wings for Budapest.

Hungarian home player Szabina Gercsak has a huge reputation as 2015 World Junior and double Junior European Champion in 2014 and 2015 and U23 Champion. She was World Cadet Champion U18 and successfully stepped up to U70kg. She can beat the best and at home she will be eager to take a World title in the senior division.

As alternative for the injured Laura Vargas Koch, Szaundra Diedrich may have a chance for a medal. She was bronze medallist at the European Games in 2015. She won gold at the European Open in Minsk and Sofia in 2017. She’s a fighter and eager to take down the elite.

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Related Judo Photos

  • Elvismar Rodriguez (VEN) - World Championships Budapest (2017, HUN) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation
  • Yuri Alvear (COL) - World Championships Budapest (2017, HUN) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation
  • Sanne Van Dijke (NED) - World Championships Budapest (2017, HUN) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation

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