Day three in the Arena Fedeguayas VPP, Guayaquil, will see the -81kg, -70kg and -90kg weight categories compete for the junior world titles.
Bright MADDALONI NOSA (ITA) is yet another talent from the Italian team who is leading the charge in the -81kg category and has been seen on the senior European tour this year, but the competition is notably tough in this category, already with the likes of Arnaud AREGBA (FRA) in a close second position, but also in the seeding is Eljan HAJIYEV (AZE) who has been medalling in grand slam events, defeating the top athletes such as UNGVARI Attila (HUN) and Victor STERPU (MDA).
The favourite for the -70kg category is Ai TSUNODA ROUSTANT (ESP). She is the reigning junior world champion and has had a great transition as a senior athlete, medalling on the IJF tour on multiple occasions, her best result a silver in the Tbilisi Grand Slam. Competition is close between her and the number two seed, Luana CARVALHO (BRA) the current Panamerican – Oceania junior champion who took silver in the same tournament at senior level, who also already has a junior world medal.
Also coming back in an attempt to hold on to his title is SAFRANY Peter (HUN) in the -90kg category. Threatening this reign is Vugar TALIBOV, a member of the Azerbaijan team who in fact collected many results in the -66kg category at cadet age and has transformed in to a strong and successful -90kg junior athlete. The European strength is clear but it looks evenly spread in this weight, with seeded athletes from Uzbekistan, USA, Brazil and Kyrgyzstan all in with a chance to take the 2022 title.
Author: Thea Cowen