Is Seven Time World champ Ryoko Tani still in?????
Tokyo - Japan�fs most popular Judo player, 7 time World champion and 2 time Olympic winner Ryoko Tani (34yrs old) was just elected to the Japanese lower house of congress in July, 2010. When she ran for congress, she stated the famous phrase, �gEven congress women get the gold!�h This meant she still plans to compete at the 2012 Olympics in England. The All Japan Judo Federation officials were a little upset because they did not know anything about her running for election while she was a member of elite A-players and still plans to compete in the London Olympic Games.
In order to compete in the Olympics, she has to be in the top 14 IJF World ranked players before May 1st 2012, and only one player from each country can compete. Japan has several top 14 players in her -48kg division and especially present is World champion Tomoko Fukumi who has defeated Tani on several occasions before. If Tani does not compete for points at the European invitational�fs, she has no chance to compete in the Olympics. And even the All Japan Judo Federation will not send her to those high point tournaments unless she is listed as an elite ranked player in Japan�fs ranking system. How can she manage herself as a congress woman, mother of a young boy, and top Olympic judo player? It�fs impossible! We will see how she handles all of these.
2010 WORLD PREVIEW
Korea Stands out in Men's
,Japanese Women Expect 4 Gold!
Tokyo - The 2010 World Championships are just around the corner. This year�fs Worlds take place at Judo�fs birth place in Tokyo on September 9-12th. In the men�fs divisions, Korea is heading it up with their two 2009 World champions, -73kg Ki-Chun Wang and -90kg Kyu-Won Lee. Also their -81kg player, 2009 World 3rd Jae-Bum Kim is another medal hopeful. At the last Worlds, the Japanese women�fs team dominated in the light and heavyweight categories with their three World champions, -48kg Tomoko Fukumi, -52kg Misato Nakamura and -63kg Yoshie Ueno. These three still showed outstanding performances at this year�fs European invitationals, therefore their winning odds are very high. There are more Japanese potential medal winners here, including the -57kg Paris World Cup winner Kaori Matsumoto and the +78kg/Open former Olympic gold medalist and 2009 World 3rd veteran Maki Tsukada. Other countries will send top players like France�fs two time +100kg World champion Teddy Riner and China�fs female star +78kg Olympic/World champ Tong Wen, who are among the expected top medal winners.
This preview will focus on the best possible medalists by JJ experts. We have put together all information based on the last two Worlds, the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the recent European and Asian World Cup internationals.
This year, the IJF set new calendar and rule changes. Now, the World Championships will be held every year instead of every two years, and each country can send two players per weight division instead of one. IJF also modified the rules. A contestant cannot directly attack the leg such as morote-gari (double or single leg pick). The koka (quarter point) and the first shido penalty have been eliminated.
Let�fs take a look at the winning prospects for this year�fs Worlds.
World Champ Ki-Chun Wang (KOR) leads -73kg/ Takashi Ono (JPN, -90kg) has Home Turf Advantage?
The greatest prospect in this division is the Ukraine�fs Georgiy Zantaraya, the current World Champ and German Int�fnl winner. However, Zantaraya will have to face Japan�fs Hiroaki Hiraoka, whom he defeated at the finals of the Worlds and German Int�fnls. Hiraoka will have home turf advantage here, and will more likely put all his energy into upsetting the Ukrainian. The dark horse contender is Japan�fs Masaaki Fukuoka (Paris Int�fnl 3rd, Japan Int�fnl 1st). Canadian Sergio Pessoa and U.S. Nick Kossor may reach the top eight.
The dominant force at -66kg is Mongolia�fs strong Tsagaanbaatar Hashbaatar, who won the last Worlds and German Int�fnls. However, the Mongolian might have trouble now because he cannot use his main weapon morote-gari (double leg pick), due to the new IJF rules forbidding single or double leg attacks. Without his powerful technique, how can he conquer his rivals? We will see if Hashbaatar can still dominate -66kg or not. Following him comes two more players, the 2009 World 3rds Jeong-Hwan An of Korea and Miklos Unguari of Hungary. Canadian hope U.S. World cup winner Micheal Popiel and U.S. Kenny Hashimoto may take the top five.
This has perhaps the most definite winner of any of the men�fs divisions. Korea�fs Ki-Chun Wang is a two-time World Champion, as well as winner of the recent Paris and Japan Internationals. He has a good standing and ground techniques, often looks for juji-gatame (cross arm-bars). Dark horse contenders include the 2009 World 2nd Chol-Su Kim of North Korea and �g09 World 3rd Isaev Mansur of Russia. Japan�fs Hiroyuki Akimoto may steal the title. Canadian hope U.S. World Cup winner Nick Tritton, U.S. Micheal Eldred and Nick Delpopolo are seeking to reach the top eight.
JJ�fs top choice in this division is another Korean tactician, Jae-Bum Kim who took 2009 World 3rd and Beijing Olympic silver medal. Kim uses an unorthodox grip to set up for a powerful low seoinage (shoulder throw) to win this year�fs German and Korean Int�fnls. Russian current World Champ Ivan Nifontov is another JJ�fs pick, but if those two top players meet in the finals, the match will be a tough one to go either side. The dark horse will be the last World 2nd place finisher Siarhei Shundzikau of Belarus. He may also be strong enough to break through the top two. U.S. hope Travis Stevens may have a chance for the top five position this year.
World Final results
1. KIM,Jae-Bum (KOR)
3. CANTO, Flavio (BRA)
The IJF ranked #1, Japan�fs Takashi Ono is JJ�fs top choice at -90kg. Ono did not place at the last Worlds, but he dominated the rest of the World Cup Int�fnl invitational�fs, like Paris, Korean and Japan. When he gets his rhythm, his spectacular uchimata (leg lifting throw) is dynamite! And his home turf advantage makes him more powerful in Tokyo. The last World champion, Korea�fs Kyu-Won Lee and World second placer Russian Kirill Denisov are as strong as Ono and could upset him any time for the gold. Canadian hope U.S. World Cup winner Emond Alexandre and U.S. player Jake Larsen are aiming at the top eight.
World Final results
1. ILIADIS,Ilias (GRE)
3. LIPARTELIANI,Varlam (GEO)
T. Anai (Jpn) seeks Gold; France's T. Riner Stands out +100kg/ Open
Japan's hope Takamasa Anai is this year's Tokyo Worlds frontrunner. Anai only reached third place at the 2009 Worlds, but it looked like he slipped instead of being thrown in his prelim match. All-Japan open weight champ Anai cannot make the same mistake again in front of Japanese fans. Anai has an explosive Uchimata, and more likely he will capture his first World title on home turf here. Kazakhstan's Maxim Rakov is the reigning World champ at -100kg, and may show well in Tokyo. The dark horse contender will be Holland's World silver medalist Henk Grol.
World Final results
1. ANAI, Takamasa (JPN)
2. GROL, Henk (NED)
3. FABRE, Thierry (FRA)
3. DESPAIGNE, Oreydi (CUB)
There are two divisions that heavyweights may enter at the Tokyo Worlds. Unlike the Netherland Worlds, there is an Open division. That means four heavyweights may contend in Tokyo from each country. The men�fs +100kg/Open category looks to be a slam dunk for France�fs Teddy Riner. He only placed 3rd at Beijing, but won all of the following: 2007 and 2009 Worlds, Paris and Korean Int�fnls.
Dark horse contenders will be the 2009 World 2nd Oscar Braison of Cuba, and the 2009 World 3rd and Beijing Olympic 2nd Abdullo Tangriev of Uzbekistan. As for the hometown favorites, Japan has strong players in former World/Olympic champion Keiji Suzuki and Kazuhiko Takahashi for +100kg division. Takahashi is a newcomer and just won the 2010 All-Japan judo championships over Suzuki and Anai to show his strength. He may steel the world title and even upset Teddy Riner. Openweight contender from Japan will be a giant Hiroki Tachiyama and Daiki Kamikawa. They also have a power to take the Open title over French Teddy Riner.
World Final Results
1. RINER, Teddy (FRA)
2. TOELZER, Andreas (GER)
3. BATAILLE, Matthieu (FRA)
3. EL SHEHABY, Islam (EGY)
Japan Leads with High Expectations in Women's Divisions! Will R. Tani Quit?
Will Japan's great Ryoko Tani (formerly Ryoko Tamura) compete at the Tokyo Worlds? No! The 7-time World champion, 2-time Olympic winner will not show. She was just elected to the lower seat in congress and has not had sufficient time to gain points to qualify for Tokyo, but the 34 year old has said that she will compete at the 2012 London Olympics.
Fighting in her place will be Tani's long time rival 25 year old Tomoko Fukumi. With Tani out of the picture, Fukumi should be a favorite here at -48kg division. She was not only the 2009 World champ but also won at the German and Japanese Int'nls. Japan also has Haruna Asami who won the Universiade in 2009 to back up Fukumi. The dark horse players will be France's Frederique Jossinet, the 2009 World bronze medalist and veteran player who has been behind Tani many times, and Spain's upcoming World 2nd Oriana Blanco. U.S. hope Katelyn Bouyssou and Canadian Isabel Lautlippe may place in the top five.
-52kg has been dominated by Japan's young Misato Nakamura (21 yrs), the current World champion and winner of not only the Korean and Japanese internationals, but the World cup Paris. She is quick on her feet and has a superb seoinage (shoulder throw) and newaza (ground techniques) for an all around player. Contesting Nakamura will be Yanet Bermoy of Cuba, the 2009 World 2nd. Bermoy was a top contender at -48kg before, but she now fights in the -52kg division, and her power seoinage is a dangerous technique. The dark horse here is Spain's 2009 World 3rd place winner Ana Carrascosa.
U.S. World Cup winner Jeanette Rodriguez and Angelica Delgado may have a chance to reach the top eight.
The -57kg category could go to either France's Morbane Ribout or Japan's Kaori Matsumoto (23 yrs). Ribout holds the current World title but she lost to Matsumoto in the final match of the Paris Internationals in February this year. Matsumoto did not place in the 2009 Worlds due to an injury in the quarterfinals forcing her to withdraw; however, she dominated the rest of the international competitions like the German and Korean Int'nls. The dark horse contender is Portugal's Telma Monteiro, who holds the 2009 World silver medal. Another U.S. World Cup winner Marti Malloy of San Jose Ca and Hana Carmichael are seeking a top five place.
This is another weight category with Japanese domination. Here it is 27 year old Yoshie Ueno, who conquered titles like the 2009 Worlds, Korean and Japanese Int'nls. Yoshie comes from a judo family, and has an older sister Masae who won the 2004 Athen's Olympics at -70kg division. Another high odds fighter will be Holland's Elisabeth Willeboordse, second placer at the 2009 Worlds and 3rd at the Beijing Olympics. The dark horse contenders are the two World bronze medalists, Claudia Malzahn (GER) and Alice Schlesinger (ISR), who are seeking to steel a World title. Canadian hope Myriam Lamarche might break through the top five. U.S. player Christal Ransom seeks the top eight.
USA Hopes on R. Rousey (-70kg) and K. Harrison (-78kg)!
The reigning -70kg World champ Yuri Alvear of Columbia could have been a one-time wonder, as she has not medaled in any other major tournament. We will have to see how Alvear contends at the Tokyo Worlds. Hungary's Anett Meszaros placed 2nd at the last Worlds and Paris Internationals. Meszaros is a JJ prospective winner.
Another top contender is Japan's Mina Watanabe, who won bronze at the 2009 Worlds and took titles at the German and Japan Int'nls. Meanwhile, the USA puts high hopes on their strongest woman player, 23 year old Ronda Rousey, who placed 2nd at the 2007 Worlds and bronze at the 2008 Olympics. Rousey took time off from judo since the Olympic Games however, so it remains to be seen how she rebounds. Over all, those top four players are a dead heat situation. Anyone could capture the title at this year's Worlds.
World Final results
1. DECOSSE, Lucie (FRA)
2. MESZAROS, Anett(BRA)
3. KUNIHARA, Yoriko(JPN)
3. BOSCH, Edith (NED)
The 2009 World winner Netherland's Mar Verkerk and World silver medalist Ukraine's Marina Pryschepa are the top choices in this division, but they did not appear at any other major internationals in the past year. Germany's 2009 World 3rd place finisher Heide Wollert captured the German Int'nls title to show her presence. Their rivals are two top Japanese players, Akari Ogata (Paris Int'nl 1st) and Tomomi Okamura, who are waiting for this Worlds to steal the medals from those top three players.
A dark horse will be the U.S. young hopeful Kayla Harrison. The 20 year old from Ohio is the German Int'nl 3rd place winner and she may take a top 3 finish, if she rides on a winning wave that day.
World Final results
1. HARRISON, Kayla (USA)
2. AGUIAR, Mayra (BRA)
3. OGATA, Akari (JPN)
3. YANG, Xiuli (CHN)
China's Tong Wen high odds in heavyweight division!
Heading up the women's heavyweights is China's Tong Wen, a two-time World gold medalist and the 2008 Olympic winner. Wen is a stocky, power player with a drop seoinage (shoulder throw) as her main weapon. Her prominent rival will be Japan's 2007 World champ and 2008 Olympic silver medalist Maki Tsukada (28 yrs). Tsukada, however, lost to Wen during the last Worlds and ended up third, yet she will have home turf advantage here and has a great chance to revenge Wen for the title. Other dark horse players are Cuba's 2009 World third Idalis Ortiz, and Great Britain's 2009 World silver Karina Bryant. Bryant is 31 years old but proved she is still strong enough to win at the highest level. U.S. hope Toni Geiger from NJ is seeking to reach the top 10.
World Final results
1. SUGIMOTO, Mika (JPN)
2. QIN, Qian (CHN)
3. TSUKADA, Maki (JPN)
3. ORTIZ, Idalys (CUB)