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Strong Portuguese team at first Judo Grand Prix of 2023

Strong Portuguese team at first Judo Grand Prix of 2023

26 Jan 2023 15:30 - Hans van Essen / judo news, results and photos

The Judo Grand Prix in Portugal is the first highly anticipated event and will see some of the world’s best judoka competing in the city of Almada. This event will bring together some of the best judoka from around the world, with a particular emphasis on the Portuguese athletes. The first day of the event will be next Friday at 27th of January and will last for three days. Leading the way for the Portuguese judoka will be Catarina Costa at the first day, followed by Barbara Timo as top competitor for Portugal and on the third and last day Rochele Nunes and Jorge Fonseca will compete for the home crowd.

All five of these athletes are highly ranked in the world of judo and will be looking to make their mark on the Grand Prix in Portugal.

Catarina Costa

Catarina Costa currently sits at number seven in the IJF Top 20 and is one of the most talented judoka in the world. Portuguese judoka Catarina Costa finished fifth at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. She took European silver in 2022 in Sofia. Catarina was born in Lisbon, Portugal in 2000. She started judo at the age of seven. Catarina finished fifth at the 2018 World Championships in Baku. She won the Grand Slam in Brasilia in 2019. She started 2022 well with a victory at the Grand Prix of Portugal and defends her title in Almada.

Barbara Timo

At the second day it’s time for Barbara Timo is ranked 16th in her weight category U63kg. Barbara Timo was born in Brazil. She claimed a bronze medal at the World Championships in Tashkent in 2022 and a silver medal at the 2019 World Championships in Tokyo. She bagged a bronze medal at the Europeans in Lisbon in 2021. She captured the gold medal at the Grand Slam in Paris in 2021 for Portugal. At home in Almada she would want to make an impression and start the season well. She took a few international medals last year and Timo won over 16 World Cup medals. As one of the top judokas in Portugal, she is sure to be a threat to all of her opponents in the run up to the world championships in Doha this year.

Rochele Nunes

One of her best friends is Rochele Nunes is ranked 11th and like Timo as well born in Brazil. Nunes from Club Benfica is a top heavyweight judoka, and she is competing in the Grand Prix Portugal in Almada on 29 January. Nunes is a two-time Portuguese national champion and is ranked among the top best heavyweights in the world. She is a dynamic and aggressive judoka who is known for her fierce gripping and explosive throws.

In 2019 she switched from Brazil to Portugal and caught various precious medals in the IJF World Tour such as a bronze medal at the Grand Slam in Paris in 2020. She claimed a bronze medal at the European Championships in Prague and bronze in Lisbon in 2021. She is confident that she can take on the best in the world and come out on top. Nunes has a reputation for always showing up to compete and giving her all in every match. Her ambition and dedication make her an ideal judoka for the Grand Prix Portugal. She is an exciting fighter who always puts on an impressive show for the crowd. Nunes' presence in Almada will be a great addition for the last day and will have an impact on the outcome of the competition for the whole team. As on the last day it may be crucial when it comes to results.

Telma Monteiro and Jorge Fonseca won't be fighting in Almada this weekend

Monteiro: "I’ve decided to start in Paris because I’m coming from an injury and I need more time to train. I started to do randori less than two weeks ago, if I would compete in Portugal I would have to manage training before competition and so I prefer to give priority to my preparation and make sure I get more randori before I go back."

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