For this entire week (August 25th to the 31st) the Russian city of Chelyabinsk, otherwise known for dozens of dashboard videos of a meteor exploding over it, shall be hosting the 2014 Judo world championships. The order of competition shall be as below:
Monday August 25th
-60kg Men, -48kg Women
Tuesday August 25th
-66kg Men, -52kg Women
Wednesday August 27th
-73kg Men, -57kg Women
Thursday August 28th
-81kg Men, -63kg Women
Friday August 29th
-90kg Men, -70kg & -78kg Women
Saturday August 30th
-100kg & +100kg Men, -78kg Women
Sunday August 31st
World Team Championships (One man each at -66kg, -73kg, -81kg, -90kg, +90kg/ One woman each -52kg, -57kg, -63kg, -70kg, +70kg)
People to watch:
2014 European champ Avtandil Tchrikishvili of Georgia will probably be the favourite in this category. He has only lost once this year and has beaten his closest rival, 2013 world champ Loic Petri of France on more than one occasion. Still, Petri is a monster and it would not be insane if he chose now to get his revenge. His teammate Alain Schmitt is also worth taking seriously too. As is Sven Maresch of Germany. Also America’s Travis Stevens will be on the mat, hopefully less injured than usual, and should produce some good work. Antoine Valois-Fortier, Canada’s surprise bronze medalist at London will also be here and could be a surprise again.
Two other people I am very interested in seeing, double world champion and Beijing gold medalist Kim Jae-Bum. He hasn’t been on the mat much recently, but he is still a special talent and could do interesting things if he is on form. I’m also interested in the Japanese youngster at this weight, Takanori Nagase. He won the 2014 All Japans this year and has wins over both Petri and Tchrikishvili so I’m curious to see what he has at the highest level.
2014 European Champion Clarisse Agbegnenou of France should be the favourite to take this from the woman who choked her out spectacularly in last year’s final, Yarden Gerbi of Israel. Gerbi is still really good, but has been a step behind this year. Assuming that doesn’t change, I expect her to medal, but likely not gold. I expect The Netherlands’ Anicka Van Emden, who I still think should have gone to London, to be a solid competitor and make life difficult for everyone. Likewise Edwidge Gwend of Italy and Austria’s Hilde Drexler.
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