Monday, July 31, 2017

Saturday, July 22, 2017

-70kg Analysis

The analysis so far...


-90kg Men: Toth (HUN)
-70kg Women: Arai (JPN)
-81kg Men: Khalmurzaev (RUS)
-63kg Women: Trstenjak (SLO)
-73kg Men: Soichi Hashimoto (JPN)
-57kg Women: Tsukasa Yoshida (JPN)
-66kg Men: Hifumi Abe (JPN)
-52kg Women: Majlinda Kelmendi (KOS)
-60kg Men: Naohisa Takato (JPN)
-48kg Women: Urantsetseg Munkhbat (MGL)

Chizuru Arai has had a fantastic run in the lead up to the World's with many wins in major competitions.
 The top favorites for the -70kg gold are all within the Top 3 in the IJF Rankings but it's the No. 3, Japan's Chizuru Arai, who looks to be the leading candidate for the top spot in Budapest. Her track record is impressive with 2016 Tyumen Grand Slam gold, 2017 Paris Grand Slam gold and 2017 Dusseldorf Grand Prix gold.

Colombia's Yuri Alvear is also a major contender as she does remarkably well at the World's. She's won it three times already. And she's got a good competition record in the lead up to the World's. But she's already 31 while Arai has got youth on her side at 23.

The world ranked No. 1, Elvismar Rodriguez (who fights for the IJF) is definitely a contender but she doesn't yet have the track record of either Arai or Alvear.

-90kg Analysis

The analysis so far...

-90kg Men: Toth (HUN)
-70kg Women: Arai (JPN)
-81kg Men: Khalmurzaev (RUS)
-63kg Women: Trstenjak (SLO)
-73kg Men: Soichi Hashimoto (JPN)
-57kg Women: Tsukasa Yoshida (JPN)
-66kg Men: Hifumi Abe (JPN)
-52kg Women: Majlinda Kelmendi (KOS)
-60kg Men: Naohisa Takato (JPN)
-48kg Women: Urantsetseg Munkhbat (MGL)

Krisztian Toth has not been in his best form lately but home ground advantage may be enough to push him all the way to the top.
The top favorite for the -90kg gold won't be in Budapest due to injury. Japan's Olympic Champion Mashu Baker seriously injured his shoulder in the All-Japan Weight Class Championships, and had to undergo an operation. This unfortunately meant that he would have to skip the World's.

The Olympic silver medalist Varlam Liparteliani of Georgia has moved up to -100kg so he won't be competing in this division either. His fellow Georgian, Beka Gviniashvili, who fought at -100kg in Rio, has moved back down to -90kg. He is a powerful player and certainly a contender for the top spot but there are many others who are good prospects for the gold.

Krisztian Toth is both powerful and technical and was a World silver medalist. So, he's definitely a top prospect but his form has been a bit off lately. Still, he has the benefit of home ground advantage and that could be enough to tip the scales in his favor. By virtue of this, he probably is the top favorite.

Two other hot contenders are Aleksandar Kukolj of Servbia, the reigning European champion; and Cheng Xunzhao of China who amazed everyone at the Olympic Games when he demolished the legendary Ilias Iliadis of Greece, Hungary's Toth and Marcus Nyman of Sweden, with his trademark ippon-osoto-gari. Cheng later used that same technique to win himself the 2017 Paris Grand Slam gold medal. He has been absent from international competition since then though.