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Emilie Andeol to defend her title against the German challengers
24 Jun 2015 11:30
The European heavyweight women don’t have an easy task to conquer the world. Only four European athletes are ranked in the top 10. Since a year German Franziska Konitz is back in the top 10 of the world and the highest seeded athlete for the draw of the European Games in Baku.
The athletic German won a bronze medal at last year’s European Championships in Montpellier. Although her only victory was in Astana’s Grand Prix last year, obviously a useful experience, Konitz hasn’t taken any gold medal so far. But when she competes, she is a stable factor for the German women’s team to get a medal. She reached the final in Abu Dhabi and but for the rest she collected bronze medals, five medals in total this year. Against reigning European Champion Emilie Andeol it was the German who won the first confrontations, but last year it was Andeol who defeated Konitz three times in a row. One of them in the semi final of Montpellier. Against Kuelbs, the small French has a score of 5-1.
Out of seven events four were captured by Asian athletes like YU Song, and three were taken by European athletes: Belkiz Kaya from Turkey won in Zagreb, Kayra Sayit (the former French Ketty Mathe) won in Budapest two weeks ago and Svitlana Yaromka (UKR) won the Grand Slam in Baku.
French Emilie Andeol is ranked second but only took a bronze medal at the GP of Tbilisi. Yaromka who at least won an event is ranked third. The second German, Jasmin Kuelbs started slow this season but eventually won three bronze medals. Despite the victory of Sayit, the Turkish team sent Belkis Kaya and Gulsah Kocaturk to Baku, Kocaturk is seeded.
Without the Asian countries this competition gives chances to talented athletes such as Larisa Ceric (6) of Bosnia Herzegovina and Dutch Tessie Savelkouls, the European U23 champion and Santa Pakenyte, the finallist of the Grand Slam in Baku. Those finallist have a good experience in Baku and can be counted as favourites for a medal; Yaromka, Pakenyte, Kuelbs and Kaya.
It can be an interesting fight between the more athletic athletes such as Konitz, Ceric and Savelkouls against the true heavyweights who have good papers to take this European Games title. Last year in Montpellier it was Emilie Andeol who won the title in the final against Ceric. Last decade it was mainly between Polavder (SLO) and Russian or French athletes. The last time an athlete out of these three nations won the European title was in 2005 when Karina Bryant won the title in Rotterdam. Maybe a good mission for Sarah Adlington to gain her first European medal.
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Thierry Clauw (BEL)
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