The category U100kg will be very attractive to see at the Grand Slam in Abu Dhabi. With some world players and in house the numbers one and two of the IJF World Ranking, this can be mentioned as a clash of the season finale. With Arman Adamian (RUS) and Shady Elnahas (CAN) on the rostrum, Abu Dhabi again delivers a nice field. Dutchman Michael Korrel, for some years the World Number one himself is back after an injury and deception at the Olympic Games and Belgian star Toma Nikiforov who managed to qualify for the Games afterall, can give his season a glance.
El Nahas and Adamian met a few times. The last victory went to Canadian El Nahas who defeated Adamian at the World Championships this year in Budapest. But Adamian is a feared opponent and smashed El Nahas the previous for contests. Don’t forget that Adamian may be the number one of the world, but he didn’t attend the Olympic Games as Niyaz Ilyasov was capable to take a bronze medal, while at the last Grand Slam in Baku Niiaz Bilalov claimed the gold. It’s the start of a huge qualification race for the Olympic Games with a stepping stone at the World Championships in Tashkent next year.
Korrel and Nikiforov were the top guys in the beginning of the season with victories in Tel Aviv and Tashkent. El Nahas shone in Tbilisi and Nikiforov also captured the European title and went to the Olympic Games as one of the medal candidates. It all went different. Jorge Fonseca again secured the World title for Portugal with a powerful set of victories. The Olympic title though was well timed for Japan’s Aaron Wolf. Arman Adamian came on fire with amazing post season results and took gold in Zagreb and Paris.
Still… you don’t hear the names of Peter Paltchik who took bronze with the Israelian team but couldn’t put a stamp on his favourite role for the major medals. Varlam Liparteliani came in action at the final 4 in Austria last weekend and does the things he likes most. His Georgian successor Ilia Sulamanidze is ready to rock this Olympic qualification. A new generation that is already feeling the bath water like Dutchman Simeon Catharina who won the Grand Slam in Kazan, Zelym Kotsoiev of Azerbaijan who won gold in Antalya’s Grand Slam in April.
Abu Dhabi will show a touch of the show that will burst out next year. Let’s have a close look to this U100kg category on Sunday.