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Youngster De Wit returns at Grand Slam Paris
4 Feb 2016 08:45
Last year Dutchman Frank de Wit became World Junior Champion in Abu Dhabi, just a week after he had won a bronze medal at the Grand Slam in Paris, the highlight of his young senior career. This week he will return in Paris, the best judo venue on earth.
“Judo gives you that primal feeling. You step on the mat and have a few minutes to throw someone on his back. If successful, you feel better than others. Amazing.”
Last year she started well with his first Grand Prix medal in 2015 in Zagreb and added bronze at the European Open in Cluj Napoca (ROU). De Wit won Cadet world silver in 2013 and took the European Junior title in 2015. Full of confidence he started his journey at the World Junior Championships as the Grand Slam of Paris had given him the ultimate boost for a judoka.
De Wit: "During tournaments I usually weigh 82 kilos. An hour before the weigh-in, I take a bath and then I’ve lost those extra kilos. It may be that my body is developing rapidly and I may be five kilos heavier in the forthcoming years. Then I likely switch to U90 kilos, perhaps even after the Olympic Games in Rio. It is an advantage that I have no real competition in the Netherlands at this moment in my weight class, but that does not stop me from doubt going to make the switch”, where Frank will be in the same category as Noel van ‘t End.
I learned a lot from Dex Elmont and Henk Grol. I train often in the gym with Henk. Eight years ago I saw on TV how he won a medal at the Olympics, now I train with him and go to judo events with him and Dex and play cards. They help me and give advice. Henk said earlier: "Frank, you have to train more physical." Dex says the opposite: "Be careful with so many tournaments, as you may bet injured. You need your body for a long career. "
“I have more the fighting style of Henk. I need to have strength, endurance and work very hard. Dex is much more technical, like Mark Huizinga used to gain success. Mark Huizinga and Dennis van der Geest are also my examples. They follow me and sometimes send me supportive messages.
In the junior I am clearly ranked first in the world. In the seniors I'm just starting. Last year I won bronze at the Grand Prix in Zagreb and Grand Slam in Paris. I was the youngest medalist in Paris, a great moment for me. This year I want to qualify for Rio. I have to be among the top 22 in the world which is the case.
If I said "I want to win gold," that would be a stupid statement. It depends on so many things. An Olympic medal in 2020 is much more realistic than in Rio, but there is always a chance."
In Paris 67 men are waiting to fight De Wit, quite a challenge, as since this year he will be approached differently with last year’s sweet memory.
“I go to Paris with a good feeling. I’ve had a good preparation and already fought some good matches last week in Sofia and I hope to get the best out of myself on Sunday.”
Seeded athletes U81kg
1. TCHRIKISHVILI Avtandili (GEO - WRL1): World Championships Chelyabinsk 2014: 1. place, World Championships Rio de Janeiro 2013: 2. place, Grand Slam Tokyo 2015: 1. place
2. VALOIS-FORTIER Antoine (CAN - WRL3): World Championships Chelyabinsk 2014: 2. place, World Championships Seniors 2015: 3. place, Grand Slam Tyumen 2015: 2. place
3. PENALBER Victor (BRA - WRL5): Grand Slam Tyumen 2014: 1. place, Pan American Seniors Championships 2015: 1. place, Panamerican Championships Guayaquil 2014: 1. place
4. TOMA Sergiu (UAE - WRL7): Grand Slam Abu Dhabi 2015: 2. place, Grand Prix Tashkent 2015: 1. place, Grand Slam Tokyo 2014: 2. place
5. KHUBETSOV Alan (RUS - WRL11): Grand Slam Baku 2014: 1. place, Grand Prix Tbilisi 2015: 1. place, Grand Prix Astana 2014: 1. place
6. MARESCH Sven (GER - WRL12): Grand Slam Moscow 2013: 1. place, Grand Prix Samsun 2014: 1. place, Grand Slam Moscow 2011: 1. place
7. MOUSTOPOULOS Roman (GRE - WRL14): Grand Prix Tashkent 2014: 1. place, Grand Prix Havana 2016: 3. place, Grand Prix Jeju 2015: 3. place
8. CSOKNYAI Laszlo (HUN - WRL16): Grand Slam Abu Dhabi 2015: 3. place, Grand Prix Zagreb 2015: 2. place, Grand Prix Havana 2016: 3. place
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