ADGS Rio: see who's on the run for the black belt gold medals in Brazil
It's fight week! The Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Rio is scheduled October 22-24, at the Velodromo, in the Olympic Park. Over 700 athletes will fight to the end in search of the 3000 points in the ranking and their share of one million Brazilian Reais ($200,000).
As usual, the Professional black belt division for men and the Professional Brown/Black belt division for women will be the highlights of the program. After the registration period ended on October 18, we can have a quick look in each weight class and highlight the big names. Here's what we found out.
Professional Male Black Belt
Light-Featherweight (-56kg) – Last year's gold medalist Francisco Jonas Andrade will be there to defend his title. Cleber Fernandes, Oziel Carvalho, Luan Pinheiro and Yuri Soares are some of the biggest threats to Jona's reign.
Featherweight (-62kg) – Meyran Alves is another 2020 ADGS Rio champion who wants to stay on top. Upcoming talent Diogo Reis wants his third gold medal in the 2021/2022 season. Lucas Pinheiro, Hiago George and Lucas Carvalho are also in the mix.
Lightweight (-69kg) – With 27 athletes, the division is up for grabs. Lightweight King of Mats champion Leo Saggioro is the most recognizable name. Israel Almeida, Thiago Macedo andYago Rodrigues will also fight hard for the gold medal.
Welterweight (-77kg) – Who can dethrone Lucas Nascimento? The 2020 champion is back in the mix to defend his title in the most populated division of the black belt division, with 38 athletes. Big names like Guthierry Barbosa, Natan Chueng, Micael Galvão, Ygor Rodrigues, Yan Paiva, among many others.
Middleweight (-85kg) – Wellington Sebastião will also be in Rio to defend his 2020 title. It's going to be a tough task for Wellington, as 28 contenders also want the title. Middleweight King of Mats champion Isaque Braz, Alex Munis, Reyson Lima, Manoel Junior, are some of the challengers.
Light-Heavyweight (-94kg) – Lots of talents in the second-heaviest weight class. Patrick Gaudio, Erich Munis, Hygor Silva, Gustavo Borges, Kelvin Cruz are some of the big names in the mix. Who's going to take the gold medal?
Super-Heavyweight (-120kg) - Will Wallace Costa keep his title of division champion? Roosevelt Sousa is on a row in the 2021/2022 season. Igor Schneider and Pedro Pimenta are some of the contenders.
Professional Female Brown/Black
Roosterweight (-49kg) – Maria Eduarda Ono and Brenda Larissa had a great battle in 2020, with Ono coming out on top. Will they repeat the final? Mariana Rolszt, Hanna Carvalho, Thais Felipe are some of the competitors who want to get in the mix.
Light-Featherweight (-55kg) – With 13 athletes, the division is deep in terms of talents. Ana Rodrigues is the most recognizable name in the list. American Alexa Yaness travelled to Brazil to challenge the locals. Ana Schmitt, Mikaele Damasceno and Patricia Silva are some of the big names in the bracket.
Lightweight (-62kg) – Julia Alves wants to keep her crown. Runner up in 2020, Ivhalayne Meira is also in the mix and wants the gold medal this year. Nathalia Zumba, Andreia Cavalcante, Raquel Santos are some of the competitors that also want their place in the podium.
Middleweight (-70kg) – With 2020 champion Julia Boscher out injured, the division is up for grabs. Eighteen athletes will battle for the gold medal. Izadora Silva, Larissa Santos, Ludmilla Fiori are some of the well known names in the bracket.
Heavyweight (-90kg) – Gabrieli Pessanha is the queen of the weight class, but lately Yara Nascimento has proved she has what it takes to dethrone the ruler. It's difficult to imagine a final match without the two rivals.