Home » Judo news
The latest Judo News offered by JudoInside.com
Khalmurzaev, Nagase or a surprise World Champion U81kg?
31 Aug 2017 00:10
In the category U81kg there remains two big prospects for the World title in Budapest: Olympic Champion Khasan Khalmurzaev of Russia and World Champion Takanori Nagase of Japan. Both have fought very little since the 2016 Rio Olympics, but when they did, they shone brightly. Here in Budapest they are in the same pool and may meet in the quarter final.
Khalmurzaev won the 2017 Ekaterinburg Grand Slam while Nagase won the 2016 Tokyo Grand Slam. These men have fought only once, in 2015 at the Rabat World Masters where Nagase was triumphant. The interesting thing is that while Khalmurzaev is ranked No. 5th, Nagase is currently outside the Top 10. Depending on the draw, they might end up on the same side of the pool, which means they could meet earlier in the day rather than in the final.
Alan Khubetsov of Russia is the current World No. 1 and has a great sode-tsurikomi-goshi. He is also the European Champion but he doesn't have the track record of Khalmurzaev. He may face Valois Fortier of Canada who's ready to fire here but so is his opponent Alexander Wieczerzak of Germany.
Attila Ungvari (WRL-3) is the home favorite. He did well in the Ekaterinburg Grand Slam where he made it to the final (he lost to Khalmurzaev there). With home ground advantage, he might just pull off an upset. He had a good draw and may meet with another exciting player to watch Ivaylo Ivanov (WRL-6) of Bulgaria. Frank De Wit (WRL-2) of the Netherlands, both of whom use a modified version of the Khabarelli technique with great effect. De Wit is linked to Zebeda Rekhviashvili, one of them will survive and reach the quarter finals.
For more traditional or classical judo you have to look at Victor Penalber of Brazil, who has massive throwing skills. Lastly, it's worth looking out for Antoine Valois-Fortier who recently won the Hohhot Grand Prix, defeating Russia's Khubetsov. Penalber is in the pool of death of Khalmuzraev and Nagase.
The U81kg category used to be loaded with lots of really top and exciting players like South Korea's World & Olympic Champion Kim Jae-Bum (now retired), Georgia's World Champion Avtandili Tchrikishvili (not selected U90kg), France's World Champion Loic Pietri (not selected U90kg) and USA's Olympic Silver Medalist Travis Stevens (his his first BJJ fight last week).
Now there is a new order, led by the Russians, but there are also possible surprises, such as Saeid Mollaei (IRI) or perhaps good old Laszlo Csoknyai. However, below are some real game-changers not yet mentioned.
Possible quarter finallists
Alan Khubetsov vs Emmanuel Lucenti
Frank de Wit vs Saeid Mollaei
Attila Ungvari vs Ivaylo Ivanov
Victor Penalber vs Khasan Khalmurzaev
Previous World Champions
1999 Graeme Randall (GBR)
2001 In-Chul Cho (KOR)
2003 Florian Wanner (GER)
2005 Guillaume Elmont (NED)
2007 Tiago Camilo (BRA)
2009 Ivan Nifontov (RUS)
2010 Jae-Bum Kim (KOR)
2011 Jae-Bum Kim (KOR)
2013 Loïc Pietri (FRA)
2014 Avtandili Tchrikishvili (GEO)
2015 Takanori Nagase (JPN)
The game changers
Antoine Valois-Fortier of Canada won the Olympic Games bronze in London 2012, in Rio he finished seventh. Valois-Fortier fought in the 2014 World Championships final against Tchrikishvili and took bronze in 2015. In July 2017 he won gold at the Grand Prix in Hohhot, Khubetsov will be his major test after Wieczerzak.
Georgian Zebeda Rekhviashvili came back strong in 2017 and won silver at the Grand Slam in Paris. He took bronze at the Grand Slam in Ekaterinburg in 2017 and with his unorthodox moves he can surprise anyone and entertain the crowd, for sure. De Wit will be his first major target.
Sergiu Toma (UAE) won Olympic bronze in Rio 2016. He won the Grand Slam of Abu Dhabi in 2016 but since then he hasn't been successful. Still he is able to make a difference.
Uuganbaatar Otgonbaatar (MGL) won a bronze medal at the Grand Slam in Baku in 2017. He took more than 10 IJF World Tour medals, but no gold yet. He beat Ivanov, Ungvari, Toma and Penalber previously.
Related judoka and events
Related Judo Photos
Related Judo Videos
Related Judo News
One-time Grand Prix gold medallist Tato Grigalashvili of Georgia delivered a commanding victory for Georgia as the world number 18 toyed with the Olympic champion Khasan Khalmurzaev (RUS) on his way to -81kg gold. The 20-year-old was unfazed by the calibre of his opposition in the final as the gold backpatch of the Russian only served to highlight just how impressive Grigalashvili was despite being relatively raw at this level. Read more
Sporting Clube de Portugal were crowned double European Judo Champion after beating Yawara-Newa in the men's Champions League final 3-2. In Odivelas best clubs of Europe were gathered for the annual Champions League for clubs, which featured the 8 Best Men's and Women's Teams in Europe. Read more
Frank De Wit (NED) vs Medickson Del Orbe Cortorreal (DOM) – Dutchman finally beats his bogeyman! Former Paris Grand Slam winner de Wit had been tormented by Del Orbe Cortorreal twice on the IJF circuit before finally gaining his revenge at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam in October. Read more
Without Israelian star Sagi Muki the European Championships title U81kg is open for anyone. Muki is the biggest prospect for World gold in Tokyo for Israel. In their successful team Muki continues to grow towards the absolute highest level U81kg. However the Israelians chose not go to the European Games and have selected the Grand Prix in Budapest which is the first European event for 100% qualification points. The European Games will only deliver 700 points for the winner but deducted with 50% next year. Read more
Former World number one Frank De Wit of the Netherlands won his country’s second gold medal of the day with a professional performance against number 108 Timo Cavelius (GER). De Wit went for broke in early exchanges before settling down and establishing his dominance as first-time IJF finalist Cavelius struggled to threaten the Dutch star. Read more