Closing in to a very special event in Georgia, with the Covid19 still as a strong factor. No doubt that the the pandemic have an impact at the tournament, but everything is set to go off as planned. The difference between how the nations have been able to prepare are huge. Some nation has not been allowed to train and do sparring, others close to normal. Anyway, we dive into the categories to take a look into the line up..
Men – 65 kg 15 fighters
A very tough category indeed this is. We got a very strong group of fighters from the host, and the countries around. Fighters from Georgia and Azerbaijan has been dominating the lightest category in Europe for many years now. Not since Gabor Rózsa won the EC in 2013 has there been a winner from another nation than these two.
Some of them have also made a strong impression across organisations, Andrei Zinchenko / Georgia, Sergo Movesyan / Georgia and Emin Ismayilli / Azerbaijan to mention for a start. All been at the KWU World Champion podium, Ismayilli and Zinchenko has switched places in the Shin EC, being the champion / runner up.
Georgia as host, also bring in a young strong fighter in <– Mindia Mgeladze. Mgeladze fought three times KWU World Champion, Artur Arushanyan, hold him for two extensions before losing on flags, back in 2019.
Hungary, Lithuania and Poland will for sure challenge the previous champions; all these three nations have two fighters each – but no one have been on the EC podium before – not on the Shin EC podium seniors to be exact. That said all these three nation are known for a very high level – so if they re qualified trough nationals – the are redy.
Poland got Daniel Sternik and Kuba Pałaszewski. Sternik being the more experienced, Pałaszewski up and coming fighter – did reach 3rd place in the U-21 EC in 2019 Prague. Sternik possesses great technical skills, did also win the Polish National recently – so it will be interesting to follow him further on in the EC
The Hungarian team have a similar setting, Zoltan Magyar being the one with most years on the tatami – up and coming Donat Karczub (if not mistaken) also he with a 3rd place in the EC U-21 in Prague 2019.
Besides mention fighters, Sweden, Ukraine and Spain got their representatives ready, with representative of Spain as the 3rd placeholder from EC 2018, Iván Fernández.