Tuesday, July 26, 2016

INTERNATIONAL JUDO FEDERATION's POSITION FOR RUSSIAN JUDOKAS COMPETING IN RIO

The International Judo Federation is dedicated to the protection of clean sports and clean athletes


Following the recommendations and guidelines set forth by the IOC and WADA, IJF continues to support the participation of all Russian athletes qualified for the Rio Olympic Games. Within the framework of the IJF anti-doping rules and testing scheme, these athletes, like all athletes participating in the World Judo Tour circuit, were tested a number of times, outside Russia as well, during international competitions or through out-of-competition tests. There was no sanction given to Russian judokas.

Therefore, the IJF has submitted the testing history of the concerned athletes to the IOC and at the moment we are awaiting further recommendations in order to proceed.

"I sincerely hope that those athletes who are clean and have no doping records will be able to participate at the Olympic Games, as they have trained hard and, according to available evidence, have not participated in any form of doping. Understanding the huge impact this scandal has on world sports, the clean Russian athletes nonetheless should have a chance just like other clean athletes from any other country.” said Marius L. Vizer, President of the International Judo Federation.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Prediction for the -66kg weight class




In the men’s -66kg category, we have three hot favorites, triple world champion Ebinuma (JPN), reigning world champion An (KOR) and former world champion Zantaraia (UKR). Other top contenders are Davaadorj (MGL) and Pulyaev (RUS).

Based on the seeding for that weight class, JudoInside has calculated that the quarter-finalists are likely to be: 

i) An (KOR) vs Marghvelashvili (GEO)
ii) Ebinuma (JPN) vs Zantaraia (UKR)
iii) Davaadorj (MGL) with Shikhalizada (AZE)
iv) Pulyaev (RUS) vs Pollack (ISR)

In the first pool, I believe An will prevail over Marghvelashvili while Ebinuma will beat Zantaraia. Ebinuma has fought An three times and won each encounter. So, in a semi-final match between these two, I think Ebinuma will be the one heading to the final.

Davaadorj has fought with Shikhalizada six times and has won four of their encounters. I think he has the edge and will be the one who makes it to the semi-finals. Meanwhile, Pulyaev, a double world silver medalist, is likely to get into the semi-finals. A Davaadorj vs Pulyaev semi-final will be a tough one, but in the end, I think Davaadorj will prevail.

Ebinuma has fought Davaadorj three times in as many years. Each time he was the victor. As such, I believe Ebinuma will be the gold medalist.

Prediction for the -52kg weight class




In the women’s -52kg category, we have two hot favorites, double world champion Kelmendi and triple world champion Nakamura. Other strong contenders are Chitu (ROU) and Miranda (BRA).

Based on the seeding for that weight class, JudoInside has calculated that the quarter-finalists are likely to be: 

i) Chitu (ROU) vs Giuffrida (ITA)
ii) Miranda (BRA) vs Ma (CHN)
iii) Kelmendi (KOS) vs Cohen (ISR)
iv) Nakamura (JPN) vs Kuziutina (RUS)

In the first pool, the super experienced Chitu will likely beat Giuffrida and Miranda will probably overcome Ma. In a semi-final between Chitu and Miranda, I think the Brazilian will prevail.

In the second pool, Kelmendi and Nakamura are likely to prevail, and end up meeting in a semi-final worthy of a final. Remarkably, these two players have never fought each other before. It will be a tight contest for sure but I think in the end, Kelmendi will win.

If the final is between Kelmendi and Miranda, the Brazilian would have home ground advantage going for her but I don’t think that will be enough to stop Kelmendi from winning her first Olympic gold medal.