July 27, 2016


26 Jul 2016 11:40


Shohei Ono of Japan is the absolute favourite for the Olympic title. But nothing as like it seems at Olympic level. Ono threw Riner at a training camp, but to throw his opponents in Rio may be tougher. His division will take place at 8 August. Russia won a second gold medal in 2012 by Mansur Isaev who didn’t make the qualification this time. So it’s about time that Ono takes the credits of his reputation.

Ono became World Champion in 2015 in Astana and 2013 in Rio de Janeiro. Ono won the World Junior Championships U20 in 2011 in Cape Town. Ono Shohei won the Grand Prix in Dusseldorf in 2015 and 2016.

Korean An Chang-Rim won bronze at the 2015 World Championships. An was World Junior Champion in 2014 in Miami. He won the Paris Grand Slam in 2016 and became World number one. In 2015 he added the Universiade in Korea U66kg and won the Grand Slam Abu Dhabi. An has Japanese roots, his parents live in Kyoto.

One of the men in shape is 2016 European Judo champion Rustam Orujov of Azerbaijan also won the Grand Prix in Havana in 2016, Grand Prix in Baku (2012), Grand Slam Baku in 2013 and Grand Prix Tbilisi and Samsun, both in 2015. In 2015 he won silver in Paris and Düsseldorf 2016. Orujov was born in Ust-Ilimsk in Russia.

Sagi Muki won the second male European title for his nation ever after the 4 of Ariel Zeevi. The light middleweight U73kg won various international tournaments and is one of the best fighters for Israel. He was seventh as best European at the 2015 World Championships. Paris Grand Slam bronze in 2016.

Lasha Shavdatuashvili is one of the youngest ever Olympic Champions. The Georgian judoka won the Olympic title U66kg in 2012 in London. He won European bronze in 2012 and the European title in 2013 U66kg. Switched to U73 and won medals in Düsseldorf and Tbilisi and won the Grand Prix Almaty. He won an amazing battle with Nugzari Tatalashvili.

Russian judoka Iartcev won a silver medal at the Grand Slam of Paris in 2016. Iartcev won the Universiade in Shenzhen (Student World Championships) in 2011 and European Games bronze in 2015. He won the IJF World Masters in Rabat in 2015. The number one for Russia 73kg.

Odbayar Ganbaatar from Mongolia won 10 World Cup medals since 2010 such as bronze in Havana in 2016. Fifth at the 2015 World Championships. Ganbaatar won 5 medals in Ulaanbaatar and Grand Prix medals in Abu Dhabi, Qingdao and Tbilisi. Ganbaatar won medals at Asian Championships in 2015 and Asian Games silver in 2014.

Dex Elmont is European Champion 2014 U73kg and won 5 World Championships medals, but the gold is missing. He participated at two Olympic Games, was 5th in Beijing. Competed U66 and U73kg. Younger brother of former world champ Guillaume Elmont. His last trick in Rio? He was close in London, but that doesn’t count.


Rok Draksic is former World leader U73kg from Slovenia. He won the European title in 2013 and six European medals in 7 years. Won the ECCO Hero Challenge U66kg in 2012. He is former World Police Champion. He won seven World Cups and Draksic won the Grand Prix in Budapest in 2016. So he is confident.

Victor Scvortov was born in Moldova. With his team he moved to United Arab Emirates where he was very successful. He won a World Championships medal as first judoka from the UAE in 2014. Scvortov won the Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi and Budapest in 2014 and started with silver in Havana in 2016.

Miklós Ungvári is silver medallist at the 2012 Olympic Games. He won three World Chs bronze medals in 2005, 2007 and 2009. Won three European titles in 2002, 2009 and 2011. He has 4 sisters and 4 brothers (Attila, Zoltan, Miklós are judoka). Still world class winning major international events. He knows when he needs to peak and so far he hasn't done that in 2016, maybe that's his quality to do it in Rio.

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