Saturday, July 26, 2014

2014 Chelyabinsk World Championships Preview - 60kg



There’s no question the top favorite in the -60kg division is Japan’s Naohisa Takato whose last defeat in the IJF world circuit was more than two years ago at the 2012 Dusseldorf Grand Prix.

Since then, he has crushed all challengers. Along the way, he has picked up six IJF World Tour titles and a World Championship title as well.

Principally a left-handed player, his main techniques are yoko-sutemi, which he does to his left, kouchi-gari which he attacks with his left leg, and two right-sided techniques in the form of sode-tsuri-komi-goshi and a very special utsuri-goshi where he hoists his opponent up in the air before coming in with a massive hip throw. He doesn't seem to like newaza much but with his awesome throwing capabilities, he doesn't have to rely on groundwork to win.

Top challengers would be Georgia’s Amiran Papinashvili, Russia’s BeslanMudranov and Mongolia’s Ganbat Boldbaatar, the last player to have beaten him in the IJF world circuit. It's worth noting that he's beaten all of them in the past two years or so; and he has also defeated Olympic champion Arsen Galstyan, most recently in the final of the 2014 Tyumen Grand Slam. He is a firm favorite in this category.

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