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Dutch powerhouses Steenhuis en Verkerk lead the IJF World Ranking
5 Jan 2018 09:05
In ten years-time, Dutch woman Guusje Steenhuis built up quite a career. The 25-year old world ranking leader U78kg won the Grand Slam of Baku this year and the Grand Prix in The Hague. In the final she defeated Marhinde Verkerk who took revenge one month later in St. Petersburg at the masters. The Dutch rivalry goes to the max with the numbers and two in the current IJF World Ranking.
Steenhuis peaks at the Grand Slams, she won five times. The Hague was her first Grand Prix victory. It was former World Champion Verkerk who competed at the Olympic Games in 2012 and 2016 while Steenhuis was ranked higher in 2016. After a devastating fast loss at the Olympic Games Verkerk wasn’t sure about her future where Steenhuis was determined to become the front woman in this category, but in her slipstream she pulls back Verkerk and the Dutch have two years to battle out if Steenhuis is the woman for the future. Even Karen Stevenson is ranked in the top 10 and is the youngest of the three, but not yet at the level of Verkerk and Steenhuis.
The top ten U78 has a wealth of experience with Powell, Aguiar and Tcheumeo completing the top 5. Verkerk is the oldest woman in the top 5 over all categories.
Steenhuis is one of the best earners in the IJF Tour when it comes to prize money. The Dutch woman collected over 100,000 USD in the IJF Tour since her first medal in 2014.
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Julie Kemmink (NED)
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