In just one week, the European Championship Shinkyokushin will be held in Poland! As mention before, adding new categories has not only increased the number of athletes in the tournament – but we are looking forward to some new match up between fighters that has been in separate categories previous years. Some of the strong profiles are retired, but we are also very happy to see the next generation really steps up! And of course some “immortal” are still going strong!
With thirty fighters in the line up, this category is the biggest one. Not totally unexpected middleweight as it is. The with in the category are also very good, many nations – and as said many fighters. This category do also have a have a generational shift going, and non of the two finalists from 2017 are in the line up, but both from the 3rd place are ready and better than ever before. ⇓ George Suciu, Romania and Tengiz Bastoiani , Georgia (3rd EC 207) must consider to be two of the favorites in the category. Both of them has been on the podium before, not only last year but earlier as well. But there is no doubt many contenders. And with a category that gives you 4-5 fights through the day..
Lithuania, Hungary and Sweden have young merited fighters on their way up. Domas Sutkus, Lithuania attended last year, but lost in his first fight to the veteran Jimmie Collin. But as we remember Sutkus took the U-22 European Champion tittle at an earlier stage, so his capacity is among the top fighters. Showing good results lately and as we always add: qualifying from one of the top nation, Lithuania one must have top skills and experience. He has also manage to reach the podium in other organizations European Championships, so it could be the time to copy that in the WKO/EKO.
Sweden`s fighters have been taking the arena with storm. A very interesting fighter with strong results in a relativity short time. Very good all rounded fighter and been noticed in several strong events. ⇐ Ali Hayder, Sweden manage to reach the final last year in the U-22 European Championship. Javier Zamora, Spain, did also reach the U-22 final last year, in the category below (-70 kg) Another example of new fighters coming up.Back to the more established in the category, we find fighters as Lachezar Dimitrov, Bulgaria, Igor Lamot, Poland and Nail Guliyev, Azerbaijan. We do believe that we see them advance into next round and further on – taking the draw as an “joker” in to it.
These fighters has not been able to reach the podium in the senior EC – yet. But together with George Suciu, Romania and Tengiz Bastoiani they will battle for the top spot. But.. there is always a but, how much impact will the young up and coming fighters manage to do?