A post by Bloody Elbow Grappling Team member and Judo guy Ananse
The rest of this week and this weekend are the European championships held in Montpellier, France. Currently, Europe is probably the most competitive region for judo in the world in terms of depth of talent, with Asia a very close second. That means that some of the best athletes from the strongest countries will be competing this weekend for the chance to become European Champion. At every weight, there will be a ton of really good competitors and some fun technique on display.
People to watch:
The middle weight classes are probably the deepest in both male and female judo, meaning today will have the greatest amount of talent and the most potential for upsets.
At -73kg, there are 3 recent world medalists on deck in Ugo Legrand of France (silver), Dex Elmont of the Netherlands and Dirk Van Tichelt of Belgium (both bronzes). In addition to those three, I'd pay a lot of attention to Musa Mogushkov of Russia, both Georgians and the 2013 champ, Rok Draksic of Slovenia.
At -81kg, you should definitely start off by paying attention to Loic Pietri of France, 2013 champ and all around bad man. The silver medalist, Avtandil Tchrikishvili of Georgia and Alain Schmitt of France, the bronze medalist, will also be in play. Otherwise, I'll be watching Sven Maresch of Germany, Joachim Bottieau of Belgium and Diogo Lima of Portugal.
-63kg will continue today's trend of having multiple serious prospects and a few potential upsets. The world champ Yarden Gerbi of Israel will be fighting as will her main rival, world silver medalist and defending European champ Clarisse Agbegnenou of France. World Bronze medalist Anicka Van Emden will also present a stiff threat, along with Italian Edwige Gwend Austrian Hilde Drexler.
The favourite at -70kg has got to be Dutch powerhouse Kim Polling, but France's veteran of the sport and Gevrise Emane is incredibly capable of pulling out the upset. World silver and European bronze medalist Laura Vargas-Koch of Germany is probably the next best prospect on paper. Additionally, Fanny Posvite of France and Sally Conway of the UK should be interesting.
Final blocks should be beginning at about 10 am Eastern time, but feel free to watch the bracket matches until then, click here.
The schedule of competition is as follows
Thursday May 24th
Women: -48kg, -52kg, -57kg
Men: -60kg, -66kg
Friday May 25th
Women: -63kg, -70kg
Men: -73kg, -81kg
Saturday May 26th
Women: -78kg, +78kg
Men: -90kg, -100kg, +100kg
Sunday May 27th
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