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 – 95 kg 15 fighters
In this category, we believe that reign EC champion and KWU World champion, Edgard Sečinski / Lithuania must carry the favorite mark. Being at the top level for almost ten years, fought all around in the world – including stepping into the top eight at the 11th World Open Karate Championship in 2015. Teammate Orestas Abazorius, follows close behind – not that heavily merited – yet, but been on the EC Shin and the EFKO EC podium as a proof of its level.
The category have many fighters circling around the podium. Nations as Poland, Hungary, Georgia and Ukraine have fighters that have been on the EC podium before. Some of them do also have similar merits in other organisations and tournaments across the World.
Marek Wolny / Poland, Adam David / Hungary, Levan Verulidze / Georgia, Ihor Kotliarevskyi / Ukraine, Levente Magyar / Hungary – all been on a EC or World Tournament podium “lately” (before the Covid-lockdown) This very even and tough level gives us demanding fights in an early stage of the draw / tournament, with a consequence that some of these top names will have an early exit.
Marek Wolny showed recently strong fighting in the Polish national, reaching the final and keeping a high pace trough the fight (and extentions) verses reign European Open-Weight Champion IKO1 Patryk Sypien. Wolny have been on the EC Shin podium three times since he entered in 2012 (if not mistaken) Besides that, he also came 3rd in the 4th KWU World Championship in 2019. The way we see it, Wolny does for sure the potential to reach the podium – as he have done before.
We have seen top nations have their annual national and qualifying tournaments, and it seems that things are going smoothly despite that we has been challenged by the pandemic. Lately we saw the Polish championship – before that, the Hungarian and the Lithuanian national championship.
Last time in 2019, Levan Verulidze / Georgia came into 3rd place. this was the second time that he manage this. After two wins, he fought Sečinski into an extension round, before Sečinski earning a Waza-ari. Verulidze more than tough enough, struggling in that fight with the reach advantage – high knees followed to body punishment from Sečinski are more than the most can take.
In the second fight, 2019 EC, Levente Magyar / Hungary faced Orestas Abazorius / Lithuania. It seemed that it became a little “battle of the styles” Magyar working the powerful combos that clearly made their way (special the lowkicks) as Orestas Abazorius was the one with the constant pressure “messing” things up and tiring out his opponent – earning a victory by flag in the end. This fight decided who would secure the third place. The margins are not big, so it could be that this time “the shoe is on the other foot”
Two other fighters, Adam David / Hungary and Ihor Kotliarevskyi / Ukraine – also been into 3rd place on the EC podium – Ihor Kotliarevskyi did that in a lighter weight-category (2018) The same year that Adam David made it to 3rd in this category -95. For David, who are now 22, this was an very strong achievement. It will also in this case be very interesting to see what they can bring to the table.
In addition – yes the draw (as always) but no doubt with such a close tough level, small differences will reflected in the ending result.