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Who does Keldiyorova have to get past to win gold in Paris 2024?

Who does Keldiyorova have to get past to win gold in Paris 2024?

7 Jun 2024 22:45
by JudoCrazy and JudoInside
JudoHeroes & IJF Media / Copyright:

Diyora Keldiyorova (UZB) is one of the bright sparks of the Women’s -52kg division. She is currently ranked No. 1 in the world and for two years running, has made it to the finals of the World Championships. In 2023, she lost to Japan’s Uta Abe in the final. Despite being a newaza specialist herself, Keldiyorova found herself getting caught in Abe’s unique brand of hara-zutsumi turnover into a hold-down.

In 2024, she succumbed to Odette Giuffrida’s (ITA) okuri-ashi-barai in the final. Although it only scored a waza-ari, it was enough for the Italian to win the match.
Keldiyorova’s main rival, of course, is Abe, who has not lost a match since 2019 (when she lost to France’s Amandine Buchard in the final of the Osaka Grand Slam). But Giuffrida, Distria Krasniqi (KOS) and Buchard, are all top contenders for the gold medal.
She’s fought Giuffrida a whopping eight times, and won exactly half of them. So, it could go either way when it comes to fighting the Italian. She’s only fought Krasniqi once, in the final of the 2023 Tblisi Grand Slam, and defeated the Kosovan. As for Buchard, they’ve also only met once, at the 2022 Jerusalem World Masters, and there, she lost to the French player.
So, it’s not going to be easy for Keldiyorova. Even if she gets past all her other rivals, there’s always Abe she’d have to deal with. Keldiyorova probably cannot match Abe in the throwing department but she could give Abe a tough time on the ground. No doubt, she lost to Abe on the ground last time but it’s unlikely that move’s going to work again. For sure Keldiyorova has been studying it in anticipation of meeting Abe again.

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