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Kazan Judo Preview U63kg: Who will challenge Tina Trstenjak?
22 Apr 2016 08:45
Although the French have traditionally dominated the category U63kg at the European Championships in the past, not a single French is competing this time. The second day of the 2016 European Judo Championships will give the fans the best European athletes, which is a European weight class where the top 5 of the World Ranking is European.
From that European top 5 Clarisse Agbegnenou and Martyna Trajdos are absent due to an injury. Tina Trstenjak is the undisputed favourite. The World Champion lost a few matches after her title but is still Europe’s number one. Last year Martyna Trajdos surprised with a European Games title.Trstenjak is in a pool with Juul Franssen, who would love to have a rematch with the World Champion. Franssen was disqualfied in that semi final against Trstenjak in Astana and felt she was close, it could be the quarter final match.
European athletes in the IJF World Ranking
1 Tina Trstenjak (SLO)
2 Clarisse Agbegnenou (FRA)
3 Martyna Trajdos (GER)
4 Kathrin Unterwurzacher (AUT)
5 Yarden Gerbi (ISR)
8 Anicka van Emden (NED)
9 Edwige Gwend (ITA)
Austrian Kathrin Unterwurzacher is back after an injury and a period with some losses and with gold at the Grand in Tbilisi and bronze in Samsun her confidence has grown significantly. Unterwurzacher will fightKarolina Talach (POL) and is in a pool with Russian outsider Ekaterina Valkova. Israel’s Yarden Gerbi is always among the favourites. Gerbi won the Grand Prix in Havana but lost twice in Düsseldorf. She will meet Anna Bernholm and is again in one pool with Alice Schlesinger who will this time fight at the Olympics for Great Britain. That match in Düsseldorf was a classic and Kazan can have a rematch.
Last year’s winner of the European Games in Baku were:
Martyna Trajdos (GER)
Tina Trstenjak (SLO)
Yarden Gerbi (ISR)
Clarisse Agbegnenou (FRA)
Always good for a bronze medal is Anicka van Emden, never the top favourite, but when the going gets tough Van Emden is sharp as ever. She won bronze at the Grand Slam in Paris but lost too early in Düsseldorf and Tbilisi. Italian Edwige Gwend has grown and was in 2010 in the European final, since then the competition has become severe. Russian Marta Labazina is the outsider but even more is expected from Ekaterina Valkova, who seems sharper to win the battle for Rio. World Championships semi finalist Juul Franssen was close to a stunt in Astana and may still have the pace to be successful.
The Swedish couple Hermansson and Bernholm are eager for a stunt this time for the first Swedish European medal since 2000. Seventeen Swedish medals in history, but none in this medal weight category. No title as well, a job to do for the Swedish girls. Hermansson is the most likely to stunt looking at the draw. She is in the pool with Van Emden and Gwend. Van Emden is the nemesys of Gwend, but she also beat her twice.
This Olympic cycle European Champions
2015 Martyna Trajdos (GER)
2014 Clarisse Agbegnenou (FRA)
2013 Clarisse Agbegnenou (FRA)
2012 Gévrise Emane (FRA)
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