Having finished only 55th in the world rankings in his heavyweight group, Miklos Sergenics was not expected to easily tie the tie at this year’s eighth Grand Slam. The nuclear power plant SE judoka, starting in the 100kg class, held a place to score in a major world event over two years ago, in October 2020 (he finished seventh in the GS competition in Budapest), since then several injuries and illnesses have hampered his preparation.
The 32-year-old will not have an easy time in the Azerbaijani capital either, as he will face last year’s world championship silver medalist already in the first round. Aleksander Kokolj managed to compete in the final in the Hungarian capital in June 2021 – losing to Portugal’s Fonseca – but the Serbian has only played two World Cup matches this year. However, he is not in bad shape, having won a bronze medal at the Antalya Grand Slam this year and the last Grand Slam in Abu Dhabi in October, as well as at the Summer Mediterranean Games.
If Cirjenics manages to get past the 5th ranking list. His rival, from the point of view of the rating, an easier competitor will wait for him in the person of Denmark’s Matthias Madsen (40th in the world ranking) or Poland’s Kasper Szczrowski (91).
Due to the mismanagement of the world championship, Réka Pupp was waiting for the draw not as the world number one, but as the number one. The fifth ASE Olympian struggled with illness at the Tashkent competition, where he lost to his Mongolian opponent in the opening round. Baxi, who is competing in the 52kg weight class, did not start in Abu Dhabi mainly due to mental rest, but will be standing on the tatami mat again in Baku. He has fond memories of the Azerbaijani capital, having won the first GS gold medal of his career here exactly one year ago, less than two days ago. Four more medals followed (first, second, 1-1, and third, respectively).
She could start another successful tournament against Saudi Arabia’s Hessa Al Maliki (ranked 170th in the world rankings) or Bulgaria’s Gabriela Dimitrova (106th) in the second round. None of the judokas have serious international results. In the quarter-finals, more famous names can face Rica Pop, such as American Catelyn Jarrell (20) and Italy’s Martina Castagnus (41), who won a bronze medal at the European Under-23 Championships last year, Asia and Oceania. Uzbek champion Sita Kadampoeva (59) or Kelly Deguchi who finished third in this year’s North American Canadian Championships, whom he met in 16th place at this year’s GS Championship in Budapest. He won that duel with the Bucks folks distinction, and they didn’t stop at the highest step on the podium.
Qualifiers will be organized from 8:00 AM Hungarian time, and medals will be distributed from 2:00 PM. (TV: Sport2). She will take Réka Pupp to the tatami on Friday and Miklós Cirjenics on Sunday.
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