One month to go.
Only 30 days until the Senior World Championships kick starts in Doha, Qatar. The eight day event includes seven days of individual competition, two weight categories per day, one men and one women. The grand finale is the Mixed Team event, and will continue to spark conversation regarding France and Japan.
For Europe, we may have many contenders for the world title in 2023, but there are only three defending champions who will be competing to retain their red back patch; Barbara MATIC (CRO), Tato GRIGALASHVILI (GEO) and Romane DICKO (FRA).
Matic has made history two years running by becoming Croatia’s first ever world champion and defending that title last year. The Tashkent and Antalya Grand Slam silver medallist is looking to make it a hat-trick by stealing it once again in the -70kg category.
The Georgian -81kg athlete, Grigalashvili took 2022 by storm, becoming European, world and IJF Masters champion in the space of eight months. Not only that but he started off his 2023 campaign in style by grabbing the Paris Grand Slam gold in February. Many are anticipating the performance of the 23 year-old as he seems destined for legendary status.
As for Romane DICKO (FRA), another 23 year-old world ranked number one, she has been celebrating her stardom since her cadet years and quickly stepped up as a senior athlete, taking grand prix and senior continental championship titles since 2018. Following a break due to injury, she arrived back on the scene and strung together six wins including another senior European title and a Master title in her upcoming destination of Doha.
Last year she claimed her third European title and second consecutive Masters title, putting her in good stead for this years world championships and her goal is simple. Defend and conquer.
Author: Thea Cowen