My friend Matt D’Aquino posted his tips for the London 2012 Olympic Judo Results a couple of weeks back so I thought I would post up my picks and thoughts.
This is the biggest competition and the peak of most of these athlete’s careers.
I have gone off the name’s I have confirmed right now. There are some teams that haven’t finalised their players and others that can change up until July 6 I believe.
Please have a read and feel free to let me know what you think in the comments section...
Gold – Sobirov
Contenders – Hiroaka, Zantaraia, Galstyan
Bolter – Kitadai
My thoughts – Whilst it’s Iliadis and Riner that get all the fame in Men’s Judo, Sobirov has dominated this division with an iron fist in recent years. Worlds 2011 saw him tested and have to come
from behind and the champion still found a way to win.
A couple of losses this year will mean he is not complacent come London and won’t be stopped
Gold – Khashbaatar
Contenders – Gadanov, Draksic, Cunha, Ebinuma
Bolter – YOURS TRULY!
My thoughts – Khashbaatar has been so good for so long. He has won all there is to win but seemed to lack the motivation to win consistently. The last couple of years it has been clear he has been building himself up for something huge and I think that’ll be July 29.
Gold – Nakaya
Contenders – Wang, Elmont, Isaev
Bolter – Pina
My thoughts – This division has some serious beasts but Wang is the standout. I have a feeling that the ghosts of Beijing (where he lost the final in 14 seconds) may strike again and provide someone else an opportunity to win. Nakaya will be very hungry to win after recovering from injury and winning the Japanese Trials
Gold – Jae-Bum Kim
Contenders – Guilheiro, Bischoff, Magomedov
Bolter – Stevens
My thoughts – This division is one not to be missed. Guilheiro’s technique, Bischoff’s tactical nouse, Magomedov’s strength and Kim’s explosive power mean there is going to be some crazy highlights from this division. Kim has turned it on when it counted in the last few years and I can’t see London being any different.
Gold – Liparteliani
Contenders – Iliadis, Nishiyama, Camilo, Gonzalez
Bolter – Lee
My thoughts – Iliadis has all the focus and he absolutely deserves it! There could be some absolute wars to get to the final and I think the two most likely to come through that are Iliadis and
Liparteliani has fought like a man possessed since the Georgian Federation coaxed Zviadauri out of retirement to challenge him. I think he could just edge Iliadis out of top spot.
Gold – Rakov
Contenders – Grol, Anai, Hwang
Bolter – Krpalek
My thoughts – This division will be very much affected by the draw. There are many tough guys who have wins over certain guys but losses against others. All things being considered, Rakov has looked great this year and is yet to lose a fight so he’s my pick.
Gold – Teddy
Contenders – Is there even a point? Mikhaylin, Toelzer, Silva
Bolter – Bor
My thoughts – Maybe Teddy Riner will sleep in and miss the bus to competition.
In that case………… I think a resurgent Mikhaylin who, despite 3 World Championships will be making his Olympic debut, will be too much for the others
Gold – Fukumi
Contenders – Menezes, Dumitru, Van Snick
Bolter – Csernoviczki
My thoughts – Fukumi will step out of Tani’s shadow and dominate this division. She feels she deserved to be Olympic Champion 4 years ago and won’t be stopped.
Gold – Nakamura
Contenders – Miranda, Haddad, Heylen
Bolter – Gneto
My thoughts – Nakamura was able to win the Japanese Trials which would be(no offence to the rest of the world’s 52ers) the hardest 52 kg draw on Earth. If she can win that I can’t see anyone stopping her in London.
Gold – Monteiro
Contenders – Matsumoto, Silva, Pavia
Bolter – Malloy
My thoughts – Matsumoto strikes fear into every Judoka she crosses paths with (some 66 kg men included). She has lost only a few fights in the last 3 years. The only person to beat her more than once is Telma Monteiro. Telma loves a big occasion and there is none bigger than this one. I predict an epic final, with Monteiro edging out Matsumoto
Gold – Emane
Contenders – Ueno, Zolnir, Van Emden
Bolter – Joung
My thoughts – Emane has proven she doesn’t falter on the big stage and I think she’ll be too tenacious for her competitors here.
Gold – Decosse
Contenders – Tachimoto, Bosch, Sraka
Bolter – Alvear
My thoughts – Decosse knows she messed up in Beijing and I think she will be absolutely ruthless in London. The physicality of Decosse will prove too much in the final matches, other girls feel the drain, Decosse is super human she just gets stronger.
Gold – Harrison
Contenders – Aguiar, Tcheumeo, Ogata
Bolter – Velensek
My thoughts – Battle of the titans here. Harrison, Aguiar and Tcheumeo have all taken time at the top of the perch with Ogata popping up for handy wins here and there.
I think Harrison’s determination will be too much for her competitors. She’s been through too much to let this slip and I can’t see the others matching her intensity on the day.
Gold – Tong
Contenders – Sugimoto, Ivaschenko, Ortiz
Bolter – Polavder
My thoughts – The division will most likely be won by an athlete who has tested positive for steroids, admitted to drug abuse and allowed back on a technicality.
For a moral victory I hope Lucija Polavder, one of the nicest people in Judo wins the gold