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Tel Aviv kicks off the World Tour in ultimate judo year
17 Jan 2020 10:20
As soon as 2019 came to end, we all realised that 2020 is the main year in the Olympic cycle and catches all attention of world wide judo fans. Next week, IJF Tour will start its Olympic year in Tel Aviv with the Grand Prix in Israel which will host a huge number of top judokas. Just few weeks before the main plate of this first quarter of the year, the Paris Grand Slam at 8-9 February.
The Paris Grand Slam always bring an amazing atmosphere to judo fans, and this year won’t be an exception. Especially after the brillant year for France with three world titles for the women, the French, would like to demostrate their strenght at home.
Just a couple of weeks later, the second strongest Judo Grand Slam will be held in Germany. Düsseldorf will host a competition whose winners points could make a decissive distance between direct rivals in the olympic ranking.
Focus will look up to east Europe in March with two big events: The Ekaterinburg Grand Slam (13-15 March) and Tbilisi Grand Prix (27-29 March) where judo figures as Gviniashvili, Liparteliani or Kuziutina will try to keep the gold in their countries against strong rivals as Sherazadishvili, Fonseca, Agbegnenou or Giuffrida.
Olympic Games blockbuster
The last bullets before Olympic Games will sound at the Doha Masters in May. Intense crashes to get a ticket in Olympic Games and show candidatures to capture the crown in each category.
After that, the blockbuster of the year will become reality. Tokyo will host the Olympic Games where all pressure is on the Japanese team to keep their place as first judo power. Russia, Korea, Georgia or France are the main teams to dispute that title, but enough countries that can snatch the gold. The Ukraine, Israel, Azerbaijan, the always surprising Italian team or even Portugal can mark the Games with historical performances. A historical competition setting the trends for the next Olympic cycle. Which athletes will write judo history or will the event write itw own history with the first edition of the mixed team competition.
Soon we will discover the shape of some of the top athletes to begin with Sagi Muki in his own Tel Aviv.
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Julien Ottaviani (FRA)