On the opening day of the World Judo Championships in Doha, the women competing in the U48kg category will showcase their skills. The reigning World Champion, Natsumi Tsunoda from Japan, is considered the frontrunner in this category. Her signature move, the tomoe-nage, may be conventional but it is still a challenge for her opponents to counter. In case her tomoe-nage fails, she swiftly transitions into a juji-gatame.This group comprises of 45 females, which is identical to the number in Tokyo in 2019. In the previous year, there were 38 women in this group in Tashkent, while in Budapest in 2021, there were 42.The two Serbian candidates, Nikolic and Stojadinov, have been placed in separate pools. Nikolic has been seeded and is set to compete in the quarterfinals against Abiba Abuzhakynova from Kazakhstan. Stojadinov, on the other hand, will be competing against Italy’s ace, Alessia Scutto, in their pool. Blandine Pont has been performing exceptionally well this season, having won three IJF events. She will be competing in the same pool as Sabina Giliazova from AIN and Korea’s Lee. Catarina Costa from Portugal has been placed in a challenging pool with Ganbaatar from Mongolia and Lima from Brazil.Shirine Boukli, the top-ranked player in the world, previously faced off against Tsunoda and lost. Another player to watch is Blandine Pont from France, who has won three Grand Slams this year and could be a surprise contender. The French players and Japanese players are separated in the draw, with Tsunoda and last year’s finalist Katharina Menz in the same pool. Boukli and Wakana Koga are on the same side of the pool, but their draw appears to be favorable without any major upsets.
Preview for the U48kg category: Tsunoda and Menz will be paired together once more.