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Kazan Judo Preview U60kg: Orkhan Safarov favourite for the title
20 Apr 2016 11:40
Orkhan Safarov is the favourite for the European title on Thursday in Kazan. The weight division for men U60kg has a strong field but without Beslan Mudranov the reigning champion. Sarafov has a rather easy draw and French Vincent Limare could be his opponent in the semi final. He will face Ahmet Sahin Kaba of Turkey as first opponent, not an easy start. On the other side of the table Amiran Papinashvili of Georgia is the most experienced, he is in a pool with Ashley McKenzie (GBR) and French talent Walide Khyar.
Georgia’s light weight, 2015 European bronze medallist, Amiran Papinashvili is a nasty opponent, but should be the best in his pool if Khyar won't spoil his dinner. On the other side Ilgar Mushkiyev is the man, also from Azerbaijan, which could lead to an all Azeri final. He is in a pool with Spanish top talent Fran Garrigos and Bekir Ozlu and Ludovic Chammartin, quite a battle to the semi final.
In Last year’s final seen Mudranov defeated Safarov, therefore, no doubt the Azeri fighter will not be wanting to repeat it again. In the World Ranking only Safarov and Papinashvili are among the top 10 for Europe. The competition is strong but an Azeri final could be an option.
European athletes in the IJF World Ranking
5 Orkhan Safarov (AZE)
6 Amiran Papinashvili (GEO)
The man in shape is Bekir Ozlu of Turkey who won three good medals this season. Who’s also unstoppable is Ilgar Mushkiyev, not the hotshot from Azerbaijan but good enough to be this edition’s dark horse.
Last year’s winner of the European Games in Baku were:
Beslan Mudranov (RUS)
Orkhan Safarov (AZE)
Ludovic Chammartin (SUI)
Amiran Papinashvili (GEO)
This Olympic cycle European Champions
2015 Beslan Mudranov (RUS)
2014 Beslan Mudranov (RUS)
2013 Amiran Papinashvili (GEO)
2012 Beslan Mudranov (RUS)
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