With the beginning of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games only a matter of a couple of months away, judokas are jetting out around the globe to iron out any remaining niggles in their game as they prepare to take gold in Rio. There are a plethora of significant judo events still to take place before the Olympics and Madrid recently attracted a whole host of elite judokas from all corners of the map.
One of the standout moments from the Madrid Open 2016 took place in the men's -66kg, with Ukraine's Georgii Zantaraia clutching it out in the final against Mathias Boucher. You can catch the last moments from the final in the video below:
There was interest for the home countries as GB were represented in both the men's and women's categories, and picked up a number of promising placings. GB's highlights in Madrid included a place finish for Gary Hall (-90kg), bronze medallist at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, who fought his way through a tough bracket, recording wins over Antoine Lamour and Anthony Laignes, two accomplished French judokas. Elsewhere, on the women's side, more excellent third place finishes for:
- Jodie Myers | 78kg+
- Bekky Livesey | -57kg
- Katiejemima Yeatsbrown | -70kg
What's coming up for Judo fans
The 2016 Grand Prix Budapest is next on the calendar, the 25th and 26th June will see competition across the 0-78kg,+78:-81kg,-90kg -100 kg, and +100 kg categories. Last year's event was kind to Kazakhstan, who took home two golds in the u60 and u66 kgs categories respectively.
After Budapest, international judo will stop in Ulaanbaatar, San Salvador and Tyumen before the opening ceremony begins in Brazil. It's crunch time as we look forward to seeing the likes of Coventry's very own Sam Ingram, who took home silver at the 2012 London Summer Paralympics; and the three time world champion Masashi Ebinuma, looking to add to his world titles with a first gold in the 66kg class.
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