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Kazan Judo preview U78kg: Reigning champion Verkerk faces severe opposition

23 Apr 2016 07:05

   Emir Incegul / Turkish Judo Federation
20150627_Baku_Audrey Tcheumeo - Marhinde Verkerk

The category U78kg will gather the best athletes from Europe. A real competitive category at the European Championships in Kazan where Marhinde Verkerk of the Netherlands will defend her title. Verkerk will go to Rio anyway as in the Netherlands they have already appointed her. Verkerk can meet with Luise Malzahn, last year's final in Baku.

The highest seed in Kazan is French Audrey Tcheumeo, her first opponent is the tall Brigita Matic but Gemma Gibbons of Great Britain is a feared opponent for Tcheumeo. Verkerk can be their opponent in the semis.

Guusje Steenhuis is the highest seeded Dutch though. She should be able to survive her pool although Abigel Joo can be a roadblock. Ana Velensek of Slovenia may be a potential European Champion as well. British Natalie Powell needs the points in her battle with Gibbons, which can lead to surprising performances.

Last year’s winner of the European Games in Baku were:

Marhinde Verkerk (NED)

Luise Malzahn (GER)

Guusje Steenhuis (NED)

Anamari Velensek (SLO)

This Olympic cycle European Champions

2015      Marhinde Verkerk (NED)

2014      Audrey Tcheumeo (FRA)

2013      Lucie Louette (FRA)

2012      Abigel Joo (HUN)

European athletes in the IJF World Ranking

2             Audrey Tcheumeo (FRA)

4             Guusje Steenhuis (NED)

5             Anamari Velensek (SLO)

6             Marhinde Verkerk (NED)

7             Luise Malzahn (GER)

9             Natalie Powell (GBR)

Celine Lebrun is still by far the best everin this category. Watch this stat here. 

Related judoka and events

Related Judo Photos

  • Guusje Steenhuis (NED), Abigel Joo (HUN) - Grand Slam Abu Dhabi (2014, UAE) - © IJF Media Team, IJF
  • Natalie Powell (GBR), Anamari Velensek (SLO) - European Games Baku (2015, AZE) - © Emir Incegul, Turkish Judo Federation
  • Audrey Tcheumeo (FRA), Gemma Gibbons (GBR) - World Cup Bucharest (2012, ROU) - © Gabriela Sabau, IJF

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