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Top athletes U90kg slowly replaced by young dogs
24 Jun 2015 11:20
Another European category is the men’s U90kg. At the European Games in Baku it results in the top fighters on the tatami. Despite an injury of Van ‘t End, the top 8 european fighters are present which is a finger-licking menu on Saturday’s judo plate.
The World’s number one since a month is Hungarian fast learner Toth Krisztian. He has just recovered from a shoulder injury and didn’t fight in the home Grand Prix in Budapest, but he attended the event to show his face, give a clinic and make pictures with your fans. That’s how we all started. The fans have a new idol in Toth who is always good in for a chat, good for a point, nice to the camera, and sportive for his competitors, but deadly for the ones who try to get him on the ground. The World Junior Champion made a quick transition to world senior level just like his age companion Beka Gviniashvili (3). Toth won the Grand Prix in Zagreb and bronze at the Grand Prix in Tbilisi. Last year he positioned himself well and won in Zagreb and Abu Dhabi. This season he shows unlimited spectacular judo, although he is not the only one and the differences are small in the top. In Dusseldorf he lost to Serbian Kukolj and mentioned Beka Gviniashvili who is even 17 months younger than Toth.
Gviniashvili lost to Liparteliani in the semi final of Dusseldorf but took his revenge at home in Tbilisi where he beat the world's number one from Georgia. Meanwhile he defeated Iliadis, Gonzalez, Toth and took revenge to Kukolj this year. Gviniashvili is a spectacular fighter and learner and socially a great athletes as well.
Probably they learned it from former numbers one of the world, two great examples: Varlam Liparteliani and Ilias Iliadis. Two stylists who've earned their respect but if that is enough for the first European Games title that is the question. Liparteliani who is still a pain for many fighters is a smart judoka, good grip and perfect groundwork. In Dusseldorf in February he came back from an injury but he worked on his ground skills deliberately and won his matches with this quality. In Tbilisi he allowed his compatriot to win... that is what he made us believe, but we're looking forward to another match at Baku ground.
Ilias Iliadis has also suffered an injury but the triple World champion is back on the tatami, whether is fit is doubtful as he lost in Rabat to Noel van 't End who suffered a serious knee injury in May and cannot compete. Iliadis will focus like Van 't End on full recovery and be prepared in Astana's World Championships where many points can be taken for the Olympic qualification. Not to qualify but to get a good seed at the Games in Rio where the top 8 will be seeded, in the past this was the top 4 or even worse, the previous Olympic or World result. At least that has been improved and at these Baku Games the top seeds are guaranteed an easy draw as well... or..no, not U90kg where there's enough competition available.
Kirill Denisov who is in a tough challenge with Kirill Voprosov for one Russian place at the Olympics are seeded as 5 and 6. French Alexandre Iddir has enough skills to be ranked 7th and Alexander Kulkolj of Serbia defeated enough top athletes to earn a seeded place. Whether that secures him enough is questionable with outsiders Odenthal (GER), Facente (ITA), Guillaume Elmont (NED), Nyman (SWE) and Celio Dias (POR) who won the Grand Prix in Budapest. Not the best seeded tournament but the Portuguese showed to be in shape.
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