November 21 - Competitors from across the globe gather in the United Arab Emirates this week ready to compete in the fifth edition of the International Judo Federations' (IJF) Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
A total of 235 competitors from 35 nations are due to battle it out on the tatami of the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.
The draw for the two-day tournament, which which is due to start tomorrow, was made today.
Home favourite Sergiu Toma will be hoping to repeat the performance that saw him win gold in the under 81 kilogram division at the Qingdao Grand Prix last month..
The world number five will be one of the host's best chances of winning a medal at the event; however he will find tough opposition in America's Travis Steven's, who won gold in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
Victor Scvortov will also fancy his chances of earning gold in front of a home crowd as he battles in the very open men's under 73kg weight category.
The top seed in this division, Uzbekistan's Mirali Sharipov, is ranked just eighth in the world leaving the competition wide open for any to snap up the victory.
Russia's Beslan Mudranov will be hoping to defend the title he picked up here last year and comes into the under 60kg event as the top seed.
He will have to beat back the efforts of countryman and Olympic champion Arsen Galstyan if he is to secure gold for a second successive year.
In the women's events, France's defending Abu Dhabi champion Emilie Andeol is given the top seed in the over 78kg division.
France will also have high hopes of a medal in the under 78kg competition with world number three and reigning world champion Audrey Tcheumeo looking to overcome Croatia's Ivana Maranic, who won gold in Tashkent.
Munkhbat Urantsetseg, surprise winner of the under 48kg event at the World Championships in Rio earlier this, will be hoping to add to her medal haul on this season World Tour with victory here in Abu Dhabi.
The Mongolian will have to see off Italy's European Open champion Valentina Moscatt, Belarus' silver medallist at the Pan American Open, Amelie Rosseneu and winner of the last Qingdao Grand Prix, Russia's Alesya Kuznetsova, if she is to top the podium in this competition.
All the action is set to get under way tomorrow at 11:00 local time with the first set of finals due to start at 17:00.
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