Previewing the category U57kg will lead us directly to the top battle of the World Championships. Who of the two Canadian top contenders will qualify for the Olympic Games. They are the number one and two seed for the World Championships. Without a Judo-off that would have been decided into three contests, both Christa Deguchi and Jessica Klimkait will aim for the best result in Budapest. In fact very tough as in a judo-off Deguchi definitely had the advantage of beating her rival five times.
Klimkait though is stable in the circuit and both can walk into a knife from anywhere. Although Deguchi doesn’t have to fear as a world champion, that knife came from Eteri Liparteliani (GEO) in Tbilisi but can also come from Momo Tamaoki, another feared opponent. Some athletes are hard to predict how they’ve come out of the COVID-19 period, such as Sumiya Dorjsuren (MGL) who won the world title in 2017 in Budapest. She didn’t show the pace yet.
Kosovo’s Nora Gjakova won in Tbilisi where Deguchi took bronze. European Champion Telma Monteiro (POR) is on form and wants that desired world title, why not. Dreams can come true in judo. 2020 European Champion Hedvig Karakas (HUN) fight in her city. Her first and last World championships medal was achieved in 2009.
The experience of these athletes is priceless but if it will help them this time is a question of quality. 40-year old Sabrina Filzmoser (AUT) will give it one more try in her farewell tour. In 2005 she won her first World medal in Cairo. Another veteran Miryam Roper (PAN) took bronze in 2013 in Rio for Germany. Realistically we don’t expect them Filzmoser and Roper to reach the top eight.
Fresh youngsters are eager to shine. African Champion Ghofran Khelifi (TUN), Serbia’s stable medal winner Marica Perisic (SRB) are examples. Poland will send two outsiders: Julia Kowalczyk (POL) and Anna Kuczera-Borowska (POL).
Yoshida (JPN), Cysique (FRA), Nelson Levy (ISR) won’t be in Budapest but still there are some outsiders. Of course also no Rafaela Silva but Ketelyn Nascimento will fight for Brazil. Germany’s Theresa Stoll can definitely reach the top 8. Also Jan-Di Kim (KOR) and Anastasiia Konkina (RUS) might be able to surprise the top favourites. All eyes are on the Canadians, perhaps someone else can benefit from the clash.