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Turkish Judo Federation
The U8kg category is the most crowded division as usual. In Antalya there is a tough group, with many athletes being present, maybe not the top but the challengers. This time 48 judoka are in Turkey, in one of the most intensely disputed categories. Since the beginning of the year, this category has produced medal matches that always conclude with different winners. You never know who is going to win in this category.
We have an average of 30 possible athletes capable of producing the big ippon and great judo, when standing in front of any other big names. We saw during the Doha World Judo Masters, young Tato Grigalashvili (GEO) winning the competition in style, followed by Sharofiddin Boltaboev (UZB) defeating former wold champion Saeid Mollaei (MLG) in the final of the Tel Aviv Grand Slam with two exceptional waza-ari scores. In Tashkent, the Italian Christian Parlati (ITA) defeated event favourite Takanori Nagase (JAP) and home favourite Boltoboev (UZB).
Last week in Tbilisi, Sami Chouchi (BEL) was losing the final in the first 20 seconds but turned it around and won in just 40 seconds. Keep your eyes on this category here in Turkey because maybe Vedat Albayrak (TUR) will be able to win at home.
What is home advantage these days? Albayrak may follow the example of previous home favourites Sagi Muki (ISR), Sharofiddin Boltaboev (UZB), Tato Grigalashvili (GEO), who didn’t get the gold medal in front of their fans. Once again, in the U81kg category, everyone can win at any time and with spectacular judo. Interesting is also the comeback of a well-known judoka, world champion in 2013, Loïc Pietri. He has been far away from the top level for a long period of time, so we will see what may have been happening with him in this quiet period, in Antalya.
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30 Mar 2021 15:40
Loic Pietri officially announced his comeback on social media. The former World Champion U81kg stepped up to U90kg at the end of 2016,. A category in which the 30-year-old from Nice won six medals at international championships during the previous Olympiad. A choice with Tokyo in sight of course but also Paris in 2024. Loic is back in the selection for Antalya this week. Our partner of L’ Esprit du Judo interviewed Loic for a bit of explanation. Read more