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Nora Gjakova in the driver seat U57kg

20 Jun 2019 09:10

   Mongolian JudoHeroes

The weight class U57kg is always competitive and the European women have had various aces to try to win the major international titles but since 2009 not a single European woman was able to take a World or Olympic title. At the European Games in Minsk we will learn who is able to get close to the Japanese, Mongolian or Brazilian rivals.

Even in Europe the competition is tough in this division where only two women were able to capture three European titles: Telma Monteiro and Automne Pavia and they have big troubles to keep in the line with the current rivals.

Nora Gjakova defends European title

2018 European Champion Nora Gjakova of Kosovo is definitely one of the biggest favourites. Gjakova is in the pool with Priscilla Gneto of France. Since 2015 only four European women won a medal at World Championships: Caprioriu/Stefan, Pavia, Receveaux and twice Nekoda Davis who doesn't fight in Minsk.

Possible clash with Daria Mezhetskaia

Perhaps Daria Mezhetskaia is the one to watch in Minsk. Not super high on the ranking list but on form with finals in Tel Aviv and Hohhot. The one who beat her in Tel Aviv is Timna Nelson Levy, Israels ace for a medal. She won in Tel Aviv and bronze in Marrakech. Without the presence of Helene Receveaux nor Germany’s strong twins Stoll, others will take their chances.

Golden oldies

Perhaps experience can win it this time again with Telma Monteiro, Corina Stefan and even golden oldie Sabrina Filzmoser in one pool. The one in shape is Hedvig Karakas and she also seems to have quite a good draw opposed to Sappho Coban (GER). More likely the surprises will come from the youngsters, even in that pool. A Rookie like Kaja Kajzer is knocking on the doors. Martina Lo Giudice and Anna Borowska and linked and Ichinkhorloo Munkhtsedev will meet Eteri Liparteliani. Anyway, the U57kg is quite open, but no doubt that Nora Gjakova is the one on the driver seat and we keep an extra eye on Russia's Mezhetskaia. Gjakova is in one pool with Russia's Konkina so if they have a chance the Russians won't hesitate to give all they can against the favourite.

It’s competitive but the top is not super broad at world level.

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Related Judo Photos

  • Hedvig Karakas (HUN) - World Championships Baku (2018, AZE) - © Oliver Sellner
  • Nekoda Smythe-Davis (GBR) - World Championships Baku (2018, AZE) - © Oliver Sellner
  • Daria Mezhetskaia (RUS) - Grand Slam Ekaterinburg (2019, RUS) - © IJF Fawaz Alenezi, International Judo Federation

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