Lucie Decosse (FRA) is the reigning U63kg World Champion and runner up at the Olympic Games. Now she has changed to the U70 category in which she had already experimented many times for less important events. Despite the change, she is as dominant as ever, taking the Grand Slam of Tokyo last year, Grand Slams of Paris and Rio and the European Championships. Decosse could take over the World title from Gevrise Emane (FRA) who now competes in the U63kg class.
One of her rivals will be Edith Bosch (NED), the former world champion of 2005 and double Olympic medallist. For her home crowd she will be eager to win the world title. She won the European title in Rotterdam in 2005 in the AHOY venue. After her bronze at the Olympic Games, Bosch won medals in all colours at major international events, but it was all a test for Saturday 29th of August. Bosch lost to Decosse in the semi final of the European Championships this year.
Mina Watanabe (JPN) won the Grand Prix of Hamburg this year but lost to Anett Mészáros (HUN) at the Grand Prix of Tunis. But Japan has a serious medal candidate in Watanabe who is the replacement for Olympic gold medallist Masae Ueno.
Mészáros was a very promising talent, becoming world and European Junior Champion in 2004, but in the seniors she has not been able to make as much of an impact. In Beijing she finished 7th. In Rotterdam she won her first and only European medal in 2005. In 2007 she won the bronze in Rio which is the best ever performance at senior level of 22-year-old Mészáros.
German Kerstin Thiele is the runner up of the European Championships this year, losing to Decosse. Although Thiele is relatively new at the top in this category, she was able to beat some world championships partipants this year like Natalia Smal (UKR), Cecilia Blanco (ESP), Juliane Robra (SUI) and Edith Bosch (NED).
Cecilia Blanco (ESP) is the oldest participant in this class at 30, six months older than Belgian Cathérine Jacques. Both are still doing well and winning medals at World Cup level. Jacques beat Blanco for the bronze medal at the European Championships, but perhaps that the other Spanish medals inspire her.
Mi-Young Choi (KOR) won silver at the Korean Open and is an outsider for a medal.
Colombian Yuri Alvear was a surprise at the Pan American Championships winning the title. In the final she beat Maria Portela (BRA) who is also competing. It would be a second surprise if they win a medal, but the a final phase position is a possibility. The same applies to Lkhamdegd Purevjargal (MGL) who won bronze at the Asian Championships in May.