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Preview World Championships U73kg

25 Aug 2015 22:05

Riki Nakaya

The categories for men U73kg and 81kg have the toughest field of the World Championships, in terms of participants, but also in terms of the number of candidates for the world title. Anything can happen as demonstrated at the first days, where reigning World Championships were kicked out all of a sudden.

The U73kg division will kick off with some high profile matches such as Number one seed Sagi Muki of Israel against Dirk van Tichelt of Belgium. Muki may have been inspired by the great bronze performances in U66kg by Golan Pollack. As number one seed due to the absence of Rustam Orujov (AZE) Muki will feel some pressure. He’s right about that in a pool with Pierre Duprat who will immediately face 2012 Olympic Champion (U66kg) Lasha Shadatuashvili, what a match that is in the first round! Even Shohei Ono, the 2013 World Champion is placed in that same pool (other block). His first opponent will be either Sharipov or Sai, both aren’t sissy boys and able to stunt, both shown before.

In pool B, Dutch Dex Elmont wants to recover from his early exit last year while he has the reputation to take medals at World Championships. Silver in 2010 and 2011 and bronze in 2013, but possible Korean opponent An Chang-Rim is the Asian champion and FISU champion this year, a dangerous opponent, if he can overcome Grand Slam Tyumen medallist Igor Wandtke (GER) who’s in shape. Everyone is wondering what Mansur Isaev can do. He is a natural talent able to peak at the right moment, a rematch with Elmont would be great, and perhaps a leap to more. The Russian is a question mark. In the other block Rok Draksic and Sainjargal Nyam-Ochir are the blockbusters for a place in the quarter finals against the guys mentioned above.

On the other side of the table in Pool C, Nugzari Tatalashvili is the man in shape this year. He seems to have a good draw. It’s interesting to see what Musa Mogushkov can do, last year he stunted with bronze in his “new” category. Last year’s finalist is also in that pool: Hong Kuk Hyon, but this year it isn’t that easy for him.

In pool D Nakaya Riki is the man with the pressure on his shoulders. He is the 2011 and current World Champion. The draw is doable for the Japanese man who battles for one Olympic ticket with Ono Shohei, while some insiders say that Hiroyuki Akimoto is the best of the three. On the other block but same pool, Hungarian veteran Miklos Ungvari can read a match and feels when the pressure is on. He was London’s silver medallist at U66kg. In this pool he can face Victor Scvortov as a roadblock. However this side of the category of U73kg seems easier than the bloody pool A.

Fireworks guaranteed.

Watch all statistics for each individual match here

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Related judoka and events

Related Judo Photos

  • Sagi Muki (ISR) - World Championships Astana (2015, KAZ) - © JudoHeroes
  • Lasha Shavdatuashvili (GEO), Pierre Duprat (FRA) - World Championships Astana (2015, KAZ) - © JudoHeroes
  • Dex Elmont (NED), Chang-Rim An (KOR) - World Championships Astana (2015, KAZ) - © JudoHeroes

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