On the second day of the World Judo Championships in Doha, it’s the Japanese siblings Hifumi Abe and Joshiro Maruyama competing in the U66kg category. It’s a tough decision to make on who will win the gold medal as both are skilled throwers. However, Abe appears to have better tactical abilities, giving him an advantage. Despite being ranked No. 1 in the world, Denis Vieru has lost to both Abe and Maruyama twice each in previous matches.Undoubtedly, the absence of Bogdan Iadov, Ukraine’s European Champion, will be felt in this area.In Pool D, Maruyama is the top contender. While Baruch Shmailov could potentially challenge him, there are also other competitors like Gusman Kyrgyzbayev and Kubanychek Aibek Uluu who could surprise us. However, Aibek Uluu is already matched up against An Baul, the Olympic silver medallist. Given his reputation, Baul may be selected to face Maruyama. Maruyama is expected to easily advance to the quarter finals without much effort.Baskhuu Yondonperenlei from Mongolia holds the second position in the world rankings, with Orkhan Safarov from Azerbaijan being the other seeded player. Daikii Bouba from France is currently performing well. Sardor Nurrilaev may cause an upset for Yondonperenlei. Elios Manzi from Italy is known to be a wildcard, just like he was in Tashkent last year.Vazha Margvelashvili holds the record for the most World Cup medals and has won medals at both the World Championships and Olympic Games. He is a skilled fighter with a strong fighting spirit and may be matched against Hifumi Abe in the quarterfinals of Pool B.However, if there is anyone who could potentially disrupt Abe or Maruyama, it would probably be the top-ranked Moldovan athlete, Denis Vieru. It may not be immediately apparent as he is in the same pool as Israel’s Tal Flicker and France’s Walide Khyar. Another contender who could surprise everyone is Yago Abuladze from AIN, as his current form is unknown. He recently won the World Championship in 2021, which wasn’t too long ago.
Get ready for the U66kg Doha Preview: Abe and Maruyama prepare for their ultimate showdown.