The first official moment of the World Junior Championships in Zagreb has been conducted as the draw with 590 athletes from 83 nations took place in the Hotel Panorama. From Wednesday athletes in four categories per day will battle for the world Junior titles.
The team of Japan obviously has a strong team with Kagawa and Koga as most familiar athletes, but also the women will probably shine with Uta Abe, Funakabo, Maeda, Sone, Umekita all athletes who won cadets and junior prizes before. Also the Brazilian team can be dangerous for the medals with Cargnin, Junior, Pires and in the ladies team Ferreira as eye-catchers.
The men’s team of Azerbaijan will be strong with obviously all eyes on Hidayet Heydarov the European senior champion but also Gurbanli, Huseynov and Kotsoiev will go for the gold. The Azeri women sent five judoka including the two hired from Mongolia, Munkhtsedev and Purevsuren.
The Israeli women have sent just three athletes, but a fine quality including Betina Temelkova. Watch the French with European champions Aurelien Diesse, Justine Deleuil and Romane Dicko. The women of the Netherlands can be expected in the medal stages with European champions Amber Gersjes and Sanne Vermeer.
A strong Russian team with 20 athletes including three continental champions. Sheriev, Tasoev and Taimazova. Don’t forget the Belgians who didn’t catch the gold in Maribor but are good enough for the medals with Verstraeten, Casse, Ez Zerrad, Petit, Willems. Maybe the Austrians can celebrate a junior world champion for the first since 2011 as with Stephan Hegyi they have an ace.
Germany will have a fine women’s team with Scoccimarro, Starke and Hoelterhoff and Eduard Trippel in the men’s division U90kg. The category of Scoccimarro U70kg is strong with Polleres and Elvismar Rodriguez who will all battle it out in one pool.
Korea is traditionally strong, you can expect Georgia, Hungary, Italy, Turkey and of course Mongolia with all their talents. Who knows if Canada can welcome another world champion as the first was four years ago but the team of Jean-Pierre Cantin is talented.
Last but not least host Croatia will be doing everything to catch a few medals and with Lara Kliba, Iva Oberan, Tihea Topolovec and Katarina Vukovic they have enough metal chances in the women’s division. The home support will shout out to their athletes.