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Düsseldorf gearing up for first Grand Slam in new venue
22 Feb 2018 09:05
For the Grand Slam in Düsseldorf starting on Friday 446 athletes are registered, more than the 344 of last year. In the previous years 2015 and 2016 more than 500 athletes competed. This edition judoka from 65 nations will face each other at the ISS Dome a new competition hall at Grand Slam level.
In addition to a large German team, Olympic champions, reigning world champions and many other top international judokas will also be competing at the Grand Slam in Düsseldorf. The Olympic gold medalist from Rio U60kg Beslan Mudranov (Russia) cancelled his participation after the draw against Ryuju Nagayama in the first round. Nagayama is the number one seed and will have a bye in the first round. U66kg with very strong Israelian fighters Flicker and Shamilov. Azerbaijan will dominate the category U73kg with Orujov and Heydarov. U81kg with strong Russians Khubetsov and Lappinagov. U90kg the major attraction with be Olympic Champion Mashu Baker who seems to be back after his dislocated shoulder that kept him away from the World Championships in Budapest. Also in U100kg strong Azeri with Mammadov and Gasimov and of course Liparteliani from Georgia. At least two strong Japanese heavyweights +100kg.
In the female competition, the Olympic final of Rio in the weight class to 63kg Tina Trstenjak from Slovenia is always an atraction. But don't forget Martyna Trajdos of Germany in Dusseldorf. In addition, Mayra Aguiar from Brazil is a two-time bronze medal winner at the Olympic Games and reigning world champion as a fighter guest at the first German Grand Slam.
Amongst the internationally experienced German athletes are the Olympic starters of 2016. Igor Wandtke, Karl-Richard Frey, Andre Breitbarth, Martyna Trajdos, Luise Malzahn and Jasmin Külbs are the "old hands" in the team and will help the young athlete with words and deeds assist. World Champion Alexander Wieczerzak won’t compete in Düsseldorf and watch the event from the stands. Sebastian Seidl is unfortunately injured after his excellent third place at the Grand Slam in Paris and can not compete either. Also Theresa Stoll won’t compete, she is ill, and her sister Amelie got an injury in the latest moment as well.
Moritz Plafky, who was also part of the team at the World Championships in Budapest and the European Championships in Warsaw, is one of the young wild ones. Furthermore, Eduard Trippel and Giovanna Scoccimarro have been internationally successful for a long time and have established themselves in the field of senior citizens. Worth mentioning here are, among other things, the great performances of the two at the last Grand Prix in Dusseldorf. Both finished fifth after thrilling duels.
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