The World Championships will miss Naohisa Takato for his spectacular and cool judo, but it doesn’t mean it’s a downgraded tournament. With Top favourite Ryuju Nagayama (JPN) there is enough to look forward to on the first day of fighting in Budapest. We will go through a list of top athletes that we expect to shine.
Ryuju Nagayama (JPN) is the undisputed candidate for place at the last eight of the tournament. That’s a bit cautious as we expect them in the final U60kg. However this category has such a speed that a mistake is easily made. Georgia will also have number eight seed Temur Nozadze in the field. Nozadze won in Tbilisi and took silver in Tel Aviv and at the u23 Europeans last year.
It’s a variety of countries that bring on the best athletes. Kazakhstan is traditionally very strong. Gusman Kyrgyzbayev (KAZ) is the man that we expect in the last eight. Another man in shape is Jorre Verstraeten of Belgium who won the gold in Antalya’s Grand Slam. Also Frenchman Walide Khyar (FRA) was strong and is expected to make a move in Budapest, but his compatriot Romaric Bouda (FRA) would want to impress as well. We don’t think both will reach the top eight.
Better to concentrate on the top eight and Francisco Garrigós of Spain took the European title in April and proved to be on form. He is the number two seed. Russian Yago Abuladze who took bronze in Lisbon is the number three of the ranking list. Without Robert Mshvidobadze he will be the man to watch for Russia. Also Azerbaijan will send Davud Mammadsoy (AZE) and Karamat Huseynov (AZE), dangerous guys for the elite athletes but non seeded.
Tornike Tsjkadoea (NED) and Eric Takabatake (BRA) are in the seeding list for Budapest and should normally reach the top eight, but there is so much action in this category. Can you imagine that Genki Koga, son of the last Toshihiko Koga is competing. He definitely has the technical skills to meet with the world top. Also he is in shape as he won the All Japan title, enough said. Korean Ha-Rim Lee (KOR) will be trying to save the reputation of Korea in this category where World Masters winner Kim Won-Jin is lacking in this magnificent field as well as Georgian World Champion Lukhumi Chkhvimiani.