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Which athletes probably stay at home this summer

Which athletes probably stay at home this summer

2 Jun 2024 14:40 - Hans van Essen / judo news, results and photos

We are not far away from the final list of participants in the Olympic judo tournament. That list will be officially announced 26 July but judo fans are already seeing many official announcements on social media of judokas who have qualified and may call themselves qualified judokas.

That also makes us curious to see a general picture of judokas who were very close but did not make it as yet. Those judokas could possibly still make it due to changes in the continental quota, or if athletes withdraw, injured or not. Or perhaps still on the basis of a returned quota, a remaining ticket awarded to a well-qualified country. There is always some lucky few who gain entry to the tournament via a wildcard determined by the IOC. We will hear about that on 26 July, but that is the backdoor to still being allowed to participate in the absolute highlight once every four years in Paris. Of course, due to circumstances, the previous games were held in 2021, in the same year as the World Cup, as it is now.

Let's list some of the top judokas who have not yet qualified and, with one genuine exception, are not going to make it, no matter how difficult, that is the other side of top sport.

We have sorted the athletes according to their achievements, and the one at the top of the list is surely Telma Monteiro, the Portuguese with that wonderful story who would actually deserve a spot at the Games, and it seems to us the most likely who should be awarded a wild card for Europe. At the Olympics, you want to see the heroes, make stories, and Monteiro is a story and an absolute top athlete who stands out from the number of judokas who unfortunately did not make it.

Of course, there is also a large number of judokas who did not make it, simply because their compatriot was better. such as the enutral athlete Tamerlan Bashaev who can absolutely compete for medals as he proved yet again at the World Championships. How about 2023 world champion Arman Adamian for whom the same applies. More battles, of course Jessica Klimkait from Canada, we know her story. And what a shame then that no two of these top judokas from, say, the top five in the world rankings are allowed to compete in the Games. That goes for another Canadian juggernaut, Kyle Reyes. What a fair duel he fought with Shady ElNahas. Obviously one of the stars from the weight up to 78kg is Aline Böhm from Germany who faced off against world champion Wagner.

A notable name not qualified, also from Germany, Eduard Trippel up to 90kg. If he is in form, he will compete with the best, although he has been looking for that form for some time. Another medallist from 2021 is Shamil Borchashvili who is withdrawing, giving his brother the chance, an unusual choice in Austria and not determined by the federation. For Sweden Marcus Nyman is battling for a place -90kg, and he will need two gold medals at African Open, enough for qualification, but Ida Eriksson will then lose her continental position.

In Croatia, there was quite a duel in some weights between Iva Oberan and Katarina Kristo of which Oberan did not make it. As did her compatriot Ana Viktorija Puljiz who just missed out. also in Ukraine, there are notable dropouts such as talented Yulia Kurchenko up to 78kg and lightweight Artem Lesiuk.

In Belgium, Sami Chouchi did not make it, but neither did Amber Ryheul and Mina Libeer unless there is another surprise somewhere. The northerners also had some hefty battles with heavyweight Jur Spijkers coming very close ind e fight with Jelle Snippe. There are also always good weights in the women's -78kg but especially heavyweight was the scene of battle with the relative light Karen Stevenson doing well but still dropping out after the last World Cup.

And then there is quite a team to be made up of neutral athletes who just missed out because their compatriots were better. Mostly men who can absolutely compete in the top eight in the world.

Looking purely at medals in the World Judo Tour, names missing will be Dominic Ressel (GER), Alberto Gaitero (ESP), Narantseg Ganbaatar (MGL), Altanbagana Ganbaatar (MGL) but also Inbal Shemesh, the experienced Estrella Lopez Sheriff (ESP) and Uzbek Mukhriddin Tilovov should not be missing from the list of top judokas who will not be seen in Paris, as should his compatriot Murodjon Yuldoshev. Moldovan Petru Pelivan looks set to lose out in the battle between them, as well as twin sister Seija Ballhaus whose sister Mascha is in blood form. In Jamaica, it was exciting with Max Stewart and Ashley McKenzie, although Ashley picked up two gold medals in Africa and McKenzie seems to have the spot for his fourth Olympic Games since 20212. Egyptian Abdelrahman Mohamed who saw his dreams dashed at the World Cup. The strong lightweight Galiya Tynbayeva KAZ). Strong German ladies and gentlemen, great Serbian names and wonderful judokas like Del Orbe, Frascadore, Urdaneta, Jessica Perreira.

In Italy, the battle in 66kg was extremely exciting and therefore Elio Manzi, one of the surprises of the previous Games in Japan could not make up the difference.

Italy-based Argentine Sofie Fiora seems to have made the shift but her compatriot Keisy Perafan narrowly missed out as well as Mariano Coto Bersier.

And then there is quite a team to be made up of neutral athletes who just missed out because their compatriots were better. Mostly men who can absolutely compete in the top eight in the world.

Last but not least, perhaps the biggest miss is Japanese stylist Joshiro Maruyama. You can probably list many more names, but this list motivates you to look forward to the World Championships in 2025, where fortunately two judokas from the same country will be allowed to compete. A point to lobby for by the IJF but that is only possible if we get to see the best judo, the best arbitration and understandable victories on the most impactful stage, in Paris. The stage is up to the qualified judokas and qualified referees.

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