2017 IBSA European Judo Championships: Ones to Watch Part 1
Carmen and Ramona Brussig (GER) -48kg & -52kg
You can’t mention one without the other. The twin sisters are both former Paralympic champions, each winning gold at London 2012. However, that was actually Ramona’s second Paralympic title, having won gold in 2004 at -57kg.
At Rio 2016 both judoka reached the final in their respective weights but both lost had to settle for silver. Carmen is the current world champion at -48kg and will be aiming win her first European title since 2007 while Ramona last won European gold in 2013.
Ramil Gasimov (AZE) -73kg
The Azerbaijani judoka will step on the mat in Walsall as the current Paralympic champion and is one of the standout names in this year’s tournament. The B2 fighter enjoyed a sensational Rio cycle winning the Worlds in 2014 as well the European Championships in 2013 and 2015.
He will be joined at -73kg by two other Rio medallists in Dmytro Solovey (UKR), who he beat in the Paralympic final, and Nikolai Kornhass (GER). Gasimov will be gunning for a third straight European title in August.
Oleksandr Nazarenko (UKR) -90kg
Nazarenko was very much the nearly man of the -90kg category during the Rio cycle. The powerful Ukrainian was always in the medals, including Paralympic and European silvers, but never got the gold.
Fortunately for him neither of his two nemeses in the form of Georgia’s Zviad Gogotchuri and Argentina’s Jorge Lencina are entered so this could be Nazarenko’s chance to top the podium.