Will Mongolia have a second female world champion in 2017? At the Worlds in Budapest Sumiya Dorjsuren is the top favorite in her category U57kg based on her very strong performance at the 2016 Rio Olympics, where she dispatched Matsumoto for ippon like it was child's play.
She eventually took a silver, but her final against Brazil's Rafaela Silva was a hard-fought one. She was in fine form. However, in looking more closely at her track record since Rio, her performance has not been very impressive. Despite taking part in several IJF World Tour events, she hasn't won a single one so far. Silva's performance is just as bad. She, too, has competed in several IJF World Tour events but hasn't won any yet.
Japan's Tsukasa Yoshida, the girl with the devastating uchimata, is again a tough challenger. She is the current Asian Champion and last year she won the Tokyo Grand Slam. It was also last year that she beat both Dorjsuren and Silva. So, she definitely knows how to fight these two.
Two oldies but goodies are Portugal's Telma Monteiro and USA's Marti Malloy. Both are 31 but still competing. Monteiro is a Rio Olympics bronze medalist and Malloy recently won the 2017 Cancun Grand Prix. Monteiro was impressive, especially with her lethal groundwork in Minsk. Who knows? They might just spring a surprise and defeat the young ones such as Nora Gjakova (KOS) or Jessica Klimkait (CAN).
The category U57kg has three notable absentees: Japan's Kaori Matsumoto, France's Automne Pavia, both of whom just gave birth, and Theresa Stoll. Stoll, the German sensation who did so well, is determined to finish her study, but her twin-sister Amelie replaces her. Miryam Roper (35), now fighting for Panama, manages her studies and continues practicing judo each day. She is back after winning in Ekaterinburg, but she sustained a small injury, missing the final in Cancun. Read about the oldies, but goodies, in the new e-magazine of JudoInside and JudoCrazy.
Seeded players who might meet
Sumiya Dorjsuren vs Nora Gjakova
Tsukasa Yoshida vs Chen-Ling Lien
Rafaela Silva vs Miryam Roper
Helene Receveaux vs Jessica Klimkait
Previous World Champions
1999 Driulis Gonzalez (CUB)
2001 Yurisleidys Lupetey (CUB)
2003 Sun Hui Kye (PRK)
2005 Sun Hui Kye (PRK)
2007 Sun Hui Kye (PRK)
2009 Morgane Ribout (FRA)
2010 Kaori Matsumoto (JPN)
2011 Aiko Sato (JPN)
2013 Rafaela Silva (BRA)
2014 Nae Udaka (JPN)
2015 Kaori Matsumoto (JPN)
The Game changers
South Korea's little-known Kwon You-Jeong is a dark horse. She's relatively young at 22 and has only a few international matches under her belt, but she shocked everyone by winning the 2017 Paris Grand Slam. Interestingly, she defeated Yoshida in that event although the Japanese player got her revenge in the recent Asian Championships, where she beat Kwon in the final. Kwon's not a top favorite by any means, but is definitely someone to look out for.
Another dark horse worth paying attention to is Taiwan's Lien Cheng-ling. A late bloomer who is already 29, she won her first IJF World Tour title this year at the 2017 Baku Grand Slam. She famously beat Matsumoto in groundwork at last year's IJF World Masters and very narrowly lost to Matsumoto in Rio. She's definitely a strong contender.
Priscilla Gneto is European Champion this year. She knows how to get medals at the elite level, but her form is up and down. We think she’s up in Budapest.
Hedvig Karakas is coming back from an injury. The Hungarian is experienced, won a lot, and may surprise, but in this field she needs a miracle.
Check the Stats generator which country dominated this category over history