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Who are the ten groundbreaking talents who really showed themselves this year at any level. We closely watched judoka born from 1998. So absolute amazing stars of this year like Sarah Asahina, Haruka Funakubo or Jessica Klimkait, who in fact had already a breakthrough but still had their best year ever and are expected to develop further.
Even all the below judoka we will know, but are worth-while to be named in this top selection. We also took 5 different countries, same for our selection for male judo talent.
Daria Bilodid (UKR)
Daria Bilodid of the Ukraine became 2018 World Champion in Baku as youngest ever gold medallist. Bilodid won the 2018 Junior world title in Nassau. She is the only judoka to take both the Cadet, Junior and Senior European title in one year. She is the daughter of double European Champion Gennady Bilodid. In 2018 she remained undefeated and broke through all the barriers, she is without a doubt the biggest talent on the planet.
Uta Abe (JPN)
Japanese starlet Abe Uta became World Champion in 2018 at the same day as her brother Hifumi Abe. She was already Junior World Champion in 2017. She won the Grand Slam of Paris in 2018. In 2017 she won the Grand Prix Düsseldorf 2017 as youngest ever winner of a IJF World Tour event. She defeated reigning World Champion Ai Shishime in the final and always with impressive judo and amazing groundwork.
Andrea Stojadinov (SRB)
One of those Serbians talents is Andrea Stojadinov. Tiny Andrea became the U23 European Champion in 2018 in Gyor. She won a few European Cups for Juniors and showed herself at Senior level. She is a tough weight category with lots of competition of Daria Bilodid and Sana Yoshida.
Alice Bellandi (ITA)
Alice Bellandi captured the Junior world title in 2018 in Nassau at the Bahamas and not her alone also Manuel Lombardo and Christian Parlati who could have been named in this overview as well. Bellandi also won the European title in 2018 in Sofia. Bellandi is not only a successful junior but also found the connection at senior level with silver at the Euro Open in Madrid. Her confidence and danger will rise in 2019 even more.
Loriana Kuka (KOS)
There’s a lot of talent U78kg with Loriana Kuka of Kosovo who had an amazing year. In this weight class you can easily name Portuguese Patricia Sampaio and Croatian Karla Prodan but Kuka also managed to win two Grand Prix events and was on fire this year with victories in Antalya and Tashkent at senior level and the European U23 title in Gyor. Another prove that the Kosovo school is still dropping off enough talent to possibly even compete at the Olympic Games team event.