Havana, Jan 22 – The Judo Grand Prix of Havana begins today with preliminary and final competitions in five divisions and the participation of 428 athletes from 69 countries.
The program for this Friday include women matches in 48, 52 and 57 kg and 60, 66 for men, with attraction of a possible duel between Argentina Paula Pareto, world champion in Astana-2015 and the Cuban Dayaris Mestre, winner in the Panamerican Games Toronto-2015.
The South American, Olympic bronze in Beijing 2008, will try to take revenge of the Cuban as she lost before her in the final of the 48 kilos in the continental competition.
Only three monarchs of the 2014 edition will participate in the competition, Kayla Harrison (USA), Toma Nikiforov (Belgium) and Renat Saidov (Russia).
Harrison (78 kg), defeated French Auidrey Tcheumeo in the decisive match and Nikiforov (100 kg) won the Swiss Orlik Flavio.
Tcheumeo and flavio will not attend the competition.
Finally, Saidov was crowned in the category of over 100 kg, after winning the British Christopher Sherrington, who will not be here.
Besides the champions, other silver and bronze medalists will compete in Havana, including Mestre and Magdiel Estrada, second places in 48 and 73 kilograms, respectively, as well as Aliuska Ojeda (57), Yalenis Castillo (78) and Maricet Espinosa (63), all of them winners of third places.
Some of the visitors will seek to get back to the podium, such as the London Olympic champion in the 48 kg, the Brazilian Sarah Meneses, third two years ago, and her compatriot Eric Takabatake, who finished second in the 60 kg.
Tomorrow women will compete in the 63 and 70 kg, and men in 73, 81 and 90 kg.
On Sunday there will be matches in 78 and over 78 (women) and 100 and over 100 (men), while a training camp is scheduled from January 25 to 27.
The winners of the Grand Prix will receive 300 points for their position in the world ranking. Thoe in second place will receive 180 and bronze medalists 120.(Prensa Latina)