Preview U100kg Tashkent: Jorge Fonseca going for the triple
Without question, the top favourite in the U100kg is double World Champion Jorge Fonseca (POR). He’s only been defeated three times this year. Once was against a Russian but Russia won’t be taking part in the World’s this year. And twice was against Piotr Kuczera (POL) but Kuczera won’t be competing in Tashkent either.
Jorge Fonseca is without a doubt the biggest favourite in U100kg. But nothing is easy with Simeon Catharina (NED) in the pool. He can stunt as well against Portugal’s powerhouse. Zelym Kotsoiev seems okay as number 8 seed but Daniel Eich could block him, he is on good form. Peter Paltchik is always a medal candidate and has a few opponents who might stunt, but Paltchik remains our favourite. Ilia Sulamanidze can win a medal here, interesting to see what Junior World Champion Kenny Liveze can do in Tashkent in this pool. On the other side of the U100kg category with 41 men we see Shady El Nahas in a pool with former world number one Aleksandar Kukolj and double world champion U90kg Nikoloz Sherazadishvili.
Who will reach the quarter final? Varlam Liparteliani has a good draw but Turoboyev is a nasty opponent, even the smart Minaskin is not easy. Both very experienced athletes. One of people who are on fire is Michael Korrel, just married and he wants to achieve a gift, but the draw isn’t. Buzacarini, Bozbayev, Fara all big guys but not impossible. Toma Nikiforov seems okay to fight likely Korrel for a place in the semi final.
This day there are so many high-level competitors in this category. Michael Korrel (NED), Shady El Nahas (CAN), Ilia Sulamanidze (GEO), Peter Paltchik (ISR), Toma Nikiforov (BEL), Nikoloz Sherazadishvili (ESP), Aleksandar Kuklolj (SRB), and Iida Kentaro (JPN) are the notable ones.
But once personality stands out among them, and that is veteran campaigner Varlam Liparteliani (GEO) who came out of retirement because he just couldn’t resist the lure of judo. He’s been in three World finals but fell short each time. Could he do it a fourth time and can he prevail at last? Many fans certainly hope so, but if it’s realistically an option… well it’s judo. We estimate his teammate Sulamanidze might get closer to the medal zone. Same for Korrel who just got married and would wanna have a second world medal and Paltchik is always an interesting rival. The Russian are ‘missed’ in this class where they always have strong aces. It’s the way it is, nonetheless not less attractive in Tashkent. As always U100kg is highly competitive to reach the last eight.