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The category U100kg is a true battlefield for the world title

2 Sep 2017 09:25

 JudoInside & JudoCrazy    IJF Media Team / IJF
2017_budapest_jh_100_korrel_000001

The 100kg weight class is super competitive and definitely among the most sensational match days at the World Championships in Budapest. Many questions, many opportunities for many athletes. Defending World Champion Ryonosuke Haga of Japan is one of the candidates. But since the Olympic reduction, Haga lost half of his points and is unseeded for Budapest.

Haga has competed in only one IJF World Tour event since the Olympics, the 2017 Hohhot Grand Prix, and he won that one, defeating Russia's Kirill Denisov in the final. Denisov is another one and as number eight seed he might bump into Michael Korrel, the number one of the world. He may have made the best progression since the Olympic Games.

Other exciting players to watch out for are former World Champion Elkhan Mammadov of Azerbaijan who surprisingly won the European title, but this tournament is supposed to be his last trick. Olympic runner-up Elmar Gasimov also of Azerbaijan can win the title and open the Olympic cycle like Mammadov did in 2013.

Cyrille Maret is always stable, won bronze at the Olympic Games and can take this world title, he is at the same level of 5-6 guys who can take the crown in Budapest. An interesting prospect is Kazbek Zankishiev, this lefty is not easy to crack and might reach the quarter final.

Hungarian Miklos Cirjenics would be a surprise if he medalled, but he won the Grand Slam in Ekaterinburg and meanwhile sneaked into the top 5 of the world, why not do it at home.

Maxim Rakov (KAZ) is the last seeded player, but an old fox. Under normal circumstances the competition is maybe too tough for him, his experience might help him.

The Quarter finals could look like this

Michael Korrel vs Maxim Rakov

Cyrille Maret vs Kirill Denisov

Elkhan Mammadov vs Kazbek Zankishiev

Miklos Cirjenics vs Elmar Gasimov

Previous World Champions

1999      Kosei Inoue (JPN)

2001      Kosei Inoue (JPN)

2003      Kosei Inoue (JPN)

2005      Keiji Suzuki (JPN)

2007      Luciano Corrêa (BRA)

2009      Maxim Rakov (KAZ)

2010      Takamasa Anai (JPN)

2011      Tagir Khaibulaev (RUS)

2013      Elkhan Mammadov (AZE)

2014      Lukas Krpálek (CZE)

2015      Ryunosuke Haga (JPN)

The Game Changers

Georgian Varlam Liparteliani won silver at the Olympic Games in Rio 2016 U90kg. He is triple European Champion in 2012, 2014 and 2016 and won three consecutive World Championships medals. This time he moved up to U100kg but can still defeated everyone. He won bronze at the Grand Slams in Paris and Ekaterinburg in 2017. He won gold at the European Open in Minsk defeating World number one Michael Korrel. No one would be surprised if Lipi takes it.

Haga’s compatriot Aaron Wolf is also representing Japan in this weight category. While Wolf has done well in domestic competitions, his international track record is not as impressive as Haga's. This is reflected in their rankings, but for many Wolf is a sophisticated opponent, a game changer.

Toma Nikiforov is always among the medal candidates, it’s good or bad, but no shame in this class. Perhaps Belgian’s only serious medal candidate in Budapest fights in one of the most competitive weight classes.

Henk Grol was about to step up to the +100kg division, but got back to U100kg but sustained an knee injury a few weeks ago and Grol cancelled his participation in the last moment.

A special mention for Dima Peters, the German already announced his retirement, Budapest will be his last shot. He won World Championships medals in 2013 and 2015. He has the technique to qualify among the best eight, but realistically we don’t expect miracles.

Check the Stats generator which country dominated this category over history

Related judoka and events

Related Judo Photos

  • Ryunosuke Haga (JPN) - World Championships Budapest (2017, HUN) - © IJF Media Team, IJF
  • Varlam Liparteliani (GEO) - World Championships Budapest (2017, HUN) - © IJF Media Team, IJF
  • Elkhan Mammadov (AZE) - World Championships Budapest (2017, HUN) - © IJF Media Team, IJF

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