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Preview men U90kg: Gwak Dong-Han wants to regain the world title

23 Sep 2018 22:55


The men’s tournament U90kg isn’t as strong as a few years ago, still there are many players who have about the same capabilities, so it all depends on the form of the day, the mindset and the skills.

One of the most skilled athletes in the scene is Aleksandar Kukolj (SRB), number one seed and if the film goes well for him, he’s our man for the semi final. However he then shall fight men like Ivan Silva, perhaps in the quarter final Kenta Nagasawa (JPN) or Ushangi Margiani (GEO).

In Pool B, we think it will be Gwak Donghan (KOR) although he has some tough fighters in his pool, namely Axel Clerget (FRA), Khusen Khalmurzaev (RUS) and Komronshokh Ustopiriyon (TJK) on the other side of pool B.

Pool C is probably the hardest one. It has Beka Gviniashvili (GEO) will first have to deal with Eduard Trippel (GER), not so easy.  Noel Van ‘t End (NED) is an outsider in this pool and Krisztian Toth (HUN). The main threat for Toth. They know each-other so well from the Junior and U23 circuit.

The top players in Pool D are Nikoloz Sherazadishvili (ESP), Mikhail Igolnikov (RUS), Mihail Zgank, now line-up as Mihail Ozerler, defending World champion Nemanja Majdov (SRB) and former World champion Asley Gonzalez who’s again in a pool with Majdov, just like last year;s first round fight. We think Igolnikov is the man to count on. We don't think 2017 World Championships runner-up Ozerler/Zgank will take another Turkish medal, given his lack of events lately, and given this heavy pool. We won't underestimate Aurelien Diesse (FRA), but also for him it seems quite heavy to survive.

Our names for the last 8 are: Kukolj, Nagasawa, Gwak, Florentino, Gviniashvili, Toth, Igolnikov, Majdov. We think the winner will come from the top half with Dong-Han Gwak as the man in form and we put some virtual money on Igolnikov. He impressed in Dusseldorf this year.

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Related Judo Photos

  • DongHan Gwak (KOR) - World Championships Baku (2018, AZE) - © JudoHeroes
  • Mikhail Igolnikov (RUS) - European Championships Tel Aviv (2018, ISR) - © Oliver Sellner
  • Aleksandar Kukolj (SRB) - World Championships Baku (2018, AZE) - © Mongolian JudoHeroes

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