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Safarov defends title but Margvelashvili wants gold this time
Safarov defends title but Margvelashvili wants gold this time
15 Apr 2021 19:30
IJF Marina Mayorova / International Judo Federation

One of the most competitive divisions at Euro 2021 in Lisbon is the men’s U66kg category. Watching the World Ranking list, some of the best fighters in the world are ready to enter the tatami in Portugal. It’s the return of Manuel Lombardo from Italy and Tbilisi’s silver medallist Vazha Margvelashvili will be eager to take his second European title. He won his first in the previous Olympic year in 2016 in Kazan.

Margvelashvili is the number one seed in Lisbon and seems to have an easy road to the quarter final. Last year’s European Champion Orkhan Safarov is the world number 20 but seeded at fifth and in the side with Margvelashvili, so a possible semi finalist, but let’s not forget Aram Grigoryan of Russia.

Lombardo is leading pool C and had a good draw, Mikhail Puliaev (RUS) is with him in Pool C.

Alberto Gaitero is in a good shape given his medals lately and the Spanish 2018 U23 European Champion is poised to win pool D given his important finals at the Tel Aviv and Antalya Grand Slams this year, losing out on gold in the latter to Hifumi Abe.. Nijat Shikhalizada and dark horse Bozhidar Temelkov (BUL) as possible threats. We estimate Gaitero is too stable to be part of a Bulgarian stunt.

Top seeds

1 MARGVELASHVILI Vazha -  (GEO)          1. seed (2. place wrl)

2 LOMBARDO Manuel -  (ITA)     2. seed (3. place wrl)

3 GAITERO MARTIN Alberto -  (ESP)         3. seed (9. place wrl)

4 GRIGORYAN Aram -  (RUS)       4. seed (19. place wrl)

5 SAFAROV Orkhan -  (AZE)          5. seed (20. place wrl)

6 SHIKHALIZADA Nijat -  (AZE)     6. seed (21. place wrl)

7 PULIAEV Mikhail -  (RUS)           7. seed (22. place wrl)

8 IADOV Bogdan -  (UKR)              8. seed (27. place wrl)

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