With over 300 entries, (adults and Juniors 1998-1999) the European Championship in Georgia will be almost as big as it was last year in Poland. -and that was a remarkably high number of contenders. This will also for many of the profiles be the first international tournament since the World Championship 2015. New weight categories do we also have, and that bring some new set ups among the fighters..
-75 kg, 28 fighters
This is a category that gives a mix of the “old” light and middleweight category. Many strong profiles in the largest category of the tournament.
Georgia with three top fighters will be a nation to follow in this category. Mikheil Tsiklauri – EC Champion two times, and been at the podium at several occasions. Tengiz Bastoiani – last year runner up in the very hard middleweight category.⇐ Levan Tsintsadze – maybe the most experience fighter of them, “only” reach the podium in the EC once, but he is he is very difficult to defeat, and if you manage to beat him, you will be marked. With three good fighters, the Georgian team will be a factor taking a medal in this years European Championship.
Azerbaijan will also bee a team to look out for. Eltaj Humbatov – reign U22 EC Champion in the -75kg. Salahat Hasanov also U22 champion (twice) and and established in the EC setting. Two times 3rd place, one time in the lightweight 2013, and one time in the middleweight 2014.
Lithuania as earlier mentioned, always very strong performers. A comeback from ⇐ Andrius Miseckas, a long time lightweight fighter with 3 times at the EC podium. Runner up in 2011, and now after a break, back pick up where he left. Domas Sutkus, up and coming young fighter, 3rd in the EC in 2013, U22 European Champion.
Poland with two fighters, Igor Lamot and Mateusz Golomb. Lamot the most profiled of them has all ready showed good sigh this year, taking the 2nd place in Diamond Cup 2016.
Bulgaria brings a U22 EC Champion to the category as well, Lachezar Dimitrov. Young talented fighter, good all rounded, and improves each time. Despite his young age, he has particularly good experience.
Sweden has a very interesting fighter this year, ⇐ Ziyafatalla Milad Samisade. U22 EC 3rd, and winner of several open tournaments. A very strong win in the Swedish Open in 2014, followed up with Danish Open tittle the year after. His style is unpredictable, and he ends fights before full time soon as he can.
It will be very hard to say who is the heavy favorite in this category. It is many of the fighters that cold reach long in the tournament. The draw will also be a factor of course.
⇐picture take by Alex Döbeln