On Saturday perhaps Mongolia can finally break through the Japanese dominance. With defending World Champion Sumiya Dorjsuren (MGL) Mongolia will have a share in the medals, but we also know each year judo changes and new power coming in. Time to analyse the women’s U57kg category.
In this division you can mention a lot of top contenders: Rafaela Silva (BRA), Jessica Klimkait (CAN) and Helene Receveaux (FRA). The one who will give Dorjsuren the toughest challenge is 2016 Olympic Champion Silva. They are all in pool A of the grid with 52 women together.
In Pool B, we have Theresa Stoll (GER), Hedvig Karakas (HUN), Miryam Roper (PAN), Nekoda Smythe-Davis (GBR) and Japanese based Chen-Ling Lien (TPE). This is a really tough pool. Stoll is the top seed here but that really doesn't mean she is necessarily the top favorite. All five players mentioned could likely top the pool on any given day.
In Pool C, we have Tsukasa Yoshida (JPN) who was last year’s runner-up and Telma Monteiro (POR) as top prospects. We think it will be Yoshida, with her devastating uchimata who will get to the top of this pool.
Pool D has Nora Gjakova (KOS), Sabrina Filzmoser (AUT), Priscilla Gneto (FRA), Christa Deguchi (CAN) and Corina Stefan (ROU) who are all good fighters. But Deguchi is likely to come up tops and it can be a great day for Canada with both Deguchi who won world junior championships medals for Japan in 2013 and 2014, but now fighting for Canada. Both Deguchi and Klimkait have fought at world level finals, but maybe that is too much for in Baku.
In the first semifinal we think Dorjsuren will prevail against whoever is top of Pool B. In the second semifinal we think it will be Deguchi, who is in top form and on fire.
If it's a Dorjsuren vs Deguchi final it will be again experience vs youth. We think in such a case, youth will win out.