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Paris Grand Slam disarmed of world champions

16 Oct 2015 12:40

   Christian Fidler

The Grand Slam of Paris will have a relatively weak field this weekend, especially in the men's category where non of the fresh World Championships will be at the start. On Friday the draw will be conducted and the athletes can prepare on their journey in the new Bercy. An event to lookout for but apparently not all athletes are keen on fighting in Bercy in October. The Grand Slam of Paris is always held in February.

The figures are clear in the draft participants list. Especially the category U81kg have just one player in the World Ranking top 10. Highest seed is Sven Maresch, ranked 8th. Even Robin Pacek of Sweden is seeded while he is ranked 25th in the world.

Especially in the men’s categories the interest seems to be lower than usual. None of the seven World Champions from Kazachstan will be fighting in Bercy.

U60kg just two players from the top 10 and the men’s heavyweight category three athletes of the top 10 and obviously without Teddy Riner who won the Grand Slam six times.

The men’s categories U90 includes just three athletes in the top 10, although with Liparteliani, Toth and Nishiyama still some guys to enjoy. Van ‘t End is still recovering from his knee injury. U100kg four athletes of the top 10 with Gasimov and Krpalek as only top 8 players.

The men’s categories U66 and U73kg are traditional strong in capacity but in Paris the best athletes are expected to fight, so certainly not weak. Mikhail Pulyaev, An and Shershan are absent from the top 5, but with Davaadorj, Zantaraia and Takajo enough strength left. Same counts for U73kg with World Ranking leader Rustam Orujov. Only two categories U73 and U100 will have their number one in Paris. Orujov is accompanied by Muki, Iartcev, today’s birthday boy Miki Ungvari, Sainjargal and Elmont to complete the top 10 ranked athletes.

The women’s division is much stronger and all World Ranking leaders are present. However there’s a tremendous difference in the field +78 and U78kg. Yu is the only heavyweight in the top 5, but U78kg the full top 6 op the World Ranking will fight in Bercy, except for Olympic champion Kayla Harrison and World Champion Umeki and 2013 World Champion Kyong Sol won’t be in the French capital, for the rest it will be a huge battlefield. Kayla Harrison suffers a minor injury and apologised for not fighting in Paris.

U63kg 6 athletes from the from 10 in the world are seeded, only Clarisse Agbegnenou and Miku Tashiru won’t fight, but Trstenjak will get opposition from Gerbi or Unterwurzacher. They will change the domination this time of Japan and France as also Agbegnenou won't compete.

For more than 10 years the winner came either from France or Japan. IJF Hall of Famer Gella Vandecaveye (BEL) was the last one who won in Paris from another country.

Another story U57kg, where 7 countries won in the last 10 editions. Pavia and Filzmoser won twice and both are seeded this edition again. Without Matsumoto the field is totally open.

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Related Judo Photos

  • Song Yu (CHN) - World Championships Astana (2015, KAZ) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation
  • Tina Trstenjak (SLO) - World Championships Astana (2015, KAZ) - © Roland Ferenci #RIP
  • Georgii Zantaraia (UKR) - World Championships Astana (2015, KAZ) - © Roland Ferenci #RIP

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