Sarah Asahina beats Idalys Ortiz for 78-kg gold

Sarah Asahina clinched gold in the over 78-kg weight class at the World Judo Championships on Wednesday as all nine Japanese reached the podium in the women’s classifications.

It was the first time since the inauguration of the women’s world championships in 1980 that every Japanese female competitor achieved a podium finish in the individual competitions at the judo worlds.

Asahina, who was runner-up last year at the Budapest worlds, ensured her status as gold-medal favorite for Tokyo 2020 by beating Rio Olympic silver medalist Idalys Ortiz of Cuba after each took two shido penalties at National Gymnastics Arena.


Cuban Idalys Ortiz

After more than six minutes Ortiz was penalized for a third time, giving Asahina her first world title and Japan its seventh gold of the Sept. 20-27 championships held in the same format as the 2020 Tokyo Games.

“It’s been 389 days since I lost (to China’s Yu Song in the heavyweight final) last year and I feel blessed to have gone one better this time,” the 21-year-old Asahina said.

“I didn’t lose the battle against myself and that proves I’ve grown as an athlete. I have to tell myself this is just the start and keep on working hard.”

In the men’s over 100-kg, Hisayoshi Harasawa suffered an ippon defeat to Mongolia’s Duurenbayar Ulziibayar in the quarterfinals but managed to pull off a win in the bronze-medal match.

Harasawa, a silver medalist at the 2016 Rio Olympics, beat world championships debutant Bekmurond Oltiboev of Uzbekistan with an osotogari (major outer reaping throw) for ippon with 25 seconds left on the clock.

“I was aiming to get to the top so it’s very disappointing. But recovering after a quarterfinals loss and taking home a medal gives me hope. I look forward to my next chance at a world title,” Harasawa said.

Yusei Ogawa picked up three penalties in the over 100-kg third-round contest and made an early exit in his first world championships appearance.

Georgia’s Guram Tushishvili won his first heavyweight title. Double Olympic champion and 10-time world champion Teddy Riner of France is taking a break and not fighting in Baku.

Japan has seven golds, five silvers and four bronzes, winning medals in 13 of 14 men’s and women’s weight divisions. The eight-day competition, featuring 755 judoka from 124 countries, was to conclude Thursday with the mixed team events.

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Cuban Silva earns Silver Medal in Judo World Championships

Cuban Ivan Silva won the silver medal today in the individual event of the 2018 Judo World Championships Seniors held in Baku, Azerbaijan, after losing in the final of the 90 kilograms division to Spanish Nikoloz Sherazadishvili.

The Georgian –born athlete and number third in the universal ranking needed the golden score to beat Silva and thus became the first Spanish man to win the world title in judo.

The bronze medals went to Japanese Kenta Nagasawa and French Axel Clerget, the latter was Silva´s victim in semifinals.

This is, so far, Silva´s best performance in the international arena, while the also Cuban Asley Gonzalez, London 2012 Olympic silver medalist and 2013 world monarch, ranked seventh when losing to German Eduard Trippel (5th) in the repechage.

Cuba´s other best performance so far in this major tournament is the 5th seat achieved by Maylin Del Toro in the women´s 63 kg division.

Women Kaliema Antomarchi (78) and Idalis Ortiz (+78) and man Andy Granda (+100) will debut for Cuba today and tomorrow while the team mixed event will be on Thursday.

After these results, the Caribbean island ranks eighth in the standings, with a silver medal, a fifth and a seventh place.

Japan appears on top of the medal table with five gold, five silver and three bronze medals, followed by France (1-1-2), South Korea and Iran (1-0-1) and Ukraine and Spain (1-0-0 each).

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Cuba ranked Fourth in Budapest Judo Grand Prix

Cuba ended fourth in the Budapest Grand Prix 2018, in Hungary, with harvest of one gold and a bronze medal.

According to the website of the contest, the crown went to Idalis Ortiz (+78 kg), who defeated Belarusian Maryna Slutskaya in the final, thus achieving her fourth win in the event.

Ortiz´s previous victims were Ukrainian Galyna Tarasova, Dutch Tessie Savelkouls and Tunisian Nihel Cheikh Rouhou, the latter in semifinals.

Cuba´s third seat was reached by man Ivan Silva (90), who beat Spanish Nikoloz Sherazadishvili in one of the bronze-medal bouts.

American Matthew Koch, Japanese Yusuke Kobayashi and Estonian Klen Kristofer, in that order, were previously defeated by Silva.
Woman Kaliema Antomarchi (78) was the only other judoka who earned points to Cuba when ranking fifth.


The rest of the members of the Cuban side, men Osniel Solis (66), Magdiel Estrada (73), Asley Gonzalez (90) and Andy Granda (+100), and women Melisa Hurtado (52), Maylin del Toro (63) and Onix Cortes (70), didn't reach the top-eight in their respective divisions, so none of them granted points to their squad.

Japan won the tournament with nine gold and four silver medals, followed by Hungary (2-0-2), Russia (1-1-1), Cuba (1-0-1) and Brazil (1-0-0).

This contest was attended by 573 judokas - 343 men and 230 women - from 86 nations, and was a good test ahead of the 37th World Championship, to be held in Baku, Azerbaijan, from next August 27 to September 2.

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This weekend’s Grand Prix in Budapest has a stunning number of participants: 576. It’s the most crowded Grand Prix ever in the history of the World Tour. Düsseldorf had the record with the first three positions, with 554 in 2012. At the draw in Budapest 576 judoka were announced at the third opportunity to gain points for the 2020 Olympic Games qualification.

Budapest is the second best attended World Tour event ever. Only the Grand Slam in Paris in 2012 had 584 judoka on the tatami.

Two weeks ago Zagreb set a new record as well with over 500 athletes which is now the fifth best ever Grand Prix. After Budapest there are three more Grand Prixs to go this year, in Cancun, Tashkent and The Hague. Budapest hosts the 73rd Grand Prix in the history since 2009.

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Ulaanbaatar/MONTSAME/ Ts.Batbayar, Mongolia’s Ambassador to the Republic of Cuba, met with Rafael Manso Reyes, President of the Cuban National Judo Federation, on May 11, 2018.

Ambassador Batbayar visited the ‘Cerro Pelado’ sports complex, where athletes of the Cuban National team are trained.

Mr.Rafael Manso Reyes, President of the Cuban National Judo Federation, and Mrs.Marta Lidia Ruiz, Head of the Foreign Relations Department of the National Institute of Sport, Physical Education, and Recreation of Cuba, welcomed the Ambassador Ts.Batbayar at the National Institute and exchanged views on further cooperation.

Both sides agreed to work together to organize joint training of the Mongolian and Cuban National judo teams in near future, to exchange athletes and coaches and to send athletes to the competitions organized in the countries.

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Cuba the dominant force at Pan American Judo Championships in Costa Rica

Cuba finished top of the medals table at the Pan American Judo Championships in Costa Rica with a total of 12 medals, including five golds.

A total of 227 athletes registered in individual competitions and 70 in the kata category in the first classification event in route to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo - taking place at the Pedregal venue in San Antonio de Belen, Heredia, 10 kilometres north of San Jose.

Canada were second in the medals table with seven medals, three of them gold, with Brazil third on the same total but one fewer golds.

Osniel Solis, in the under-66 kilograms class, and Ivan Felipe Silva, in the under-90kg class, were the male gold medallists for Cuba, while three golds were provided in the women’s competition by Maylin del Toro at under-63kg, Kaliema Antomarchi at under-78kg and Idalys Ortiz oat over-78kg open class.

Canada’s golds came from Antoine Bouchard at under-73kg, Antoine Valois-Fortier at under-81kg and, in the women’s event, Christa Deguchi at under-57kg.

Diana Brenes won the only medal for the hosts, earning a bronze in the women’s under-78kg class.

"We are very happy, this is one of the four most important events in the continent and organising it in Costa Rica is a huge pride," Costa Rica Judo Federation President Dudley Lopez said.

The event offered competitors the chance to lay down an early marker prior to next year's International Judo Federation World Championships in the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic host city of Tokyo.

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Cancun Grand Prix 2017, Mexico PREVIEW

The first edition of the Cancun Grand Prix is the most vital stop on the IJF World Judo Tour thus far in 2017 as it is the penultimate Grand Prix before August’s 2017 Suzuki World Judo Championships in Budapest, Hungary. 

Mexico, which successfully hosted the World Masters event in Guadalajara last year, hosts its first ever Grand Prix in the ultimate tourist destination from Friday 16 – Sunday 18 Junew which is a gateway to Worlds selection and judo joy on the elite stage.

As the IJF World Judo Tour heats up on the road to Budapest, the sandy beaches, sparkling blue ocean and balmy temperatures of the Cancun in the South East of Mexico, are the picturesque backdrop for the three-day Grand Prix which has attracted Olympic and world medallists.


Olympic and world medallists path to Budapest runs via Cancun

Rio 2016 Olympic silver medallist Odette GIUFFRIDA (ITA) is the one and only representative for her country while double Olympic bronze medallist Mayra AGUIAR (BRA) makes a timely return to action. World bronze medallist Victor PENALBER (BRA), heavyweight world number two David MOURA and London 2012 Olympic silver medallist UNGVARI Miklos (HUN) are also among the stars present in Cancun.

Mr. Armen BAGDASAROV, IJF Sports Director, revealed at the draw that 188 judoka would compete at #JudoCancun2017 from 36 nations (111 men and 77 women).

IJF President hails Mixed Team Event success for Tokyo 2020



From L-R: Mr. Juan CARLOS BARCOS, IJF Head Referee Director, Mr. Antonio Castro SOTO DEL VALLE, IJF Ambassador, Mr. Marius VIZER, IJF President, Mr. Armen BAGDASAROV, IJF Sports Director 

Mr. Marius VIZER, IJF President, said: “Dear Manuel, dear colleagues, friends, ladies and gentlemen, it is a real pleasure to come for the first time in Cancun for a Grand Prix, I want to thank the government from Cancun, the Ministry of Sport, the Mexican Judo Federation and everyone here supporting the Grand Prix.

“It is a great pleasure and an honour to announce that judo’s mixed team event will be in Tokyo 2020 Olympics and after as well in next Olympics.

“I want to thank you for your efforts and dedication, I congratulate all coaches, athletes, the IJF team and Executive Committee and on behalf of the IJF I want to wish you a successful tournament. It is very good for Pan American judo to organise a Grand Prix in this region and I wish you all a lot of luck."

IJF Ambassador Mr. Antonio Castro SOTO DEL VALLE (above) was among the honoured guests in attendance at the draw on Thursday.

“Thank you for your invite, I am very happy to stay here, we are sure this event will be a success with lots of support from the IJF and judoka from all regions," he said. "I thank you for coming and we hope you enjoy this Grand Prix, hopefully it will be the first of many Grand Prix here in Cancun.”

From L-R: Mr. Manuel LARRANAGA, Pan American Confederation and Mexican Judo Federation President, Mr. Jesus Antonio LOPEZ PINZON, President of the Committee of Sport for Quintana Roo (COJUDEQ), Mr. Jose HUMBERTO Rodriguez, Pan American Confederation Director  

Mr. Jesus Antonio LOPEZ PINZON, President of the Committee of Sport for Quintana Roo (COJUDEQ), said: “Good morning all, we would like to thank the IJF and Mr. Marius VIZER as it is very important for our country and our city of Cancun to host this really important event. We want to thank the Mexican Judo Federation and want to say a message to all cities and countries around the world that is a really good place. Thank you all for coming here and thank you for making us the hosts.”

Mr. Manuel LARRANAGA, Pan American Confederation and Mexican Judo Federation President, said: “Good morning everyone, on behalf of Mexican Judo Federation I would like to welcome you all here to Cancun. We would like to thank Mr. Marius VIZER for all of his support towards our country. We would also like to thank the governor of the city for letting us be the host city of this event.

“We would also like to thank Mr. PINZON for giving us all the facilities and tools to be the host city of this event. Thank you to our sponsors and the official hotels for supporting us. Welcome all to Cancun, this city of Paradise, and finally we thank Mr. VIZER once again for supporting us to stage this Grand Prix.”

From L-R: IJF Hall of Famer Driulis González MORALES, triple world champion and four-time Olympic medallist, who is now a Cuban national team coach, alongside former teammate and three-time Olympic bronze medallist Amarilis SAVON, who was recently appointed as coach of Bahamas 

While the draw was underway and throughout Thursday, the IJF staged an Instagram Takeover with London 2012 Olympic bronze medallist and former world silver medallist Marti MALLOY (USA) who competes on Friday.

Click here to see the IJF Instagram Takeover by Marti MALLOY (USA)

Before the action in Mexico begins on Friday, the IJF President Mr. Marius VIZER, will host his latest Twitter Question and Answer session from 9am local time (3pm UK) live from Cancun. The IJF President will be ready to answer questions from all media outlets, judoka, fans, coaches and all corners of the world.

Any subject is open for discussion and questions can already be posted in advance using the hashtag #AskVizer 



Use #JudoCancun2017 to join in with the social media discussion 



London 2012 Olympic bronze medallist CSERNOVICZKI Eva (HUN) won her only Worlds medal to date back in 2011 in Paris. The 30-year-old – a two-time European champion and three-time Grand Prix winner – has her best chance of Worlds success this summer as judo’s annual marquee event arrives in Budapest, Hungary for the first time. CSERNOVICZKI starts as the top seed in Cancun and a win would be an ideal platform to launch her title bid in August. Pan American Championships silver medallist Edna CARRILLO (MEX) is one of her country’s most talented judoka and could win her first ever IJF medal with the home field advantage while former Grand Slam silver medallist Gabriela CHIBANA (BRA) will be among the leading contenders.

Rio 2016 Olympic silver medallist Odette GIUFFRIDA (ITA) will compete on the IJF World Judo Tour this weekend for the first time since losing out to Majlinda KELMENDI (KOS) for the -52kg gold medal in Brazil. The 22-year-old, who turned down a spot on Italy’s Dancing With Stars TV series to compete at the European Championships, finished fifth at the continental championships and will start as the favourite in Mexico as she looks to move one step closer to winning her first Worlds medal. Abu Dhabi Grand Slam silver medallist Angelica DELGADO (USA) will be the number one seed but will have her work cut out to turn that into first place with London 2012 Olympic champion Sarah MENEZES (BRA) – a long-time -48kg standout – now stepping up her pursuit of top honours at -52kg.


Ekaterinburg Grand Slam winner Miryam ROPER (PAN) wrote her name into the history books as she made sure that Panama’s first ever IJF World Judo Tour medal was gold with a stunning display last time out in Russia. ROPER, 34, started over in April with zero world ranking points when she wore a Panama judogi for the first time and finished fifth at the Pan American Championships and is already up to 12th in the world. The former world bronze medallist now has that goal for her father’s country and arrives in Cancun as the number one seed. Long-time rival Marti MALLOY (USA) – who beat ROPER for bronze at the continental championships – last graced an IJF podium in Budapest last year with bronze at Hungary’s Grand Prix and could send the American flag to the rafters with victory in Mexico. 


Baku Grand Slam silver medallist Andreja LESKI (SLO) is a new judoka to follow at -63kg and the 20-year-old could break into the world’s top 10 with a strong outing in Mexico. Double Pan American Championships bronze medallist Hannah MARTIN (USA) has hit the medal trail in 2017 while Brazil continue to stick by their veterans such as Ketleyn QUADROS (BRA) who will pose a considerable medal threat on day two. 


Venezuela’s first world number one Elvismar RODRIGUEZ (IJF) is the number one seed at an IJF World Judo Tour for the first time this weekend. The 20-year-old has progressed far quicker than anyone expected with a flurry of Grand Slam and Grand Prix medals over the last year to already became her country’s most successful judoka in the modern era of the IJF circuit. Rio 2016 Olympic bronze medallist Sally CONWAY (GBR) took silver on her post-Olympic return to competition at the Bucharest European Open two weeks ago and will certainly be in the medal shake-up in Mexico. Former world number one Kelita ZUPANCIC (CAN) took silver at the Paris Grand Slam in February and has won four medals on the trot this year going into the first Cancun Grand Prix.


Double Olympic bronze medallist Mayra AGUIAR (BRA) makes her eagerly-awaited return to action on Sunday and will hope for a winning return at the penultimate Grand Prix before the Worlds. Former world champion AGUIAR, 25, won bronze in Brazil at the Olympics last time out and has slipped down the rankings due to her inactivity to 19th place in the world. Since her nemesis Kayla HARRISON (USA) has retired, AGUIAR is expected to rule the category for years to come and will get her Worlds preparations back on track with gold in Cancun. Double European bronze medallist Natalie POWELL (GBR) is the top seed in the -78kg category. The world number six took silver at the Ekaterinburg Grand Slam in May and should prove to be the toughest challenge for AGUIAR. Pan American Championships silver medallist Kaliema ANTOMARCHI (CUB) could make a medal push and is at her best when competing in the Americas.

The +78kg category looks wide open with Brazil, USA, Mexico, Croatia, Great Britain and Slovenia all targeting top spot. Pan American Championships bronze medallist Nina CUTRO-KELLY (USA) is the number one seed after a strong run in Pan American events while all eyes will be on Rio 2016 Olympic bronze medallist Anamari VELENSEK (SLO) who makes her +78kg debut on her first competition since the Olympics. Lima Pan American Open winner Rochele NUNES (BRA) could add to her IJF World Judo Tour medal count on the final day in Mexico as one of the most experienced judoka in the category.

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Dusseldorf Grand Prix: Dimitri Peters triumphs on home soil

Local favourite Dimitri Peters gave the crowd something to smile about when he downed Cuba’s Jose Armenteros in the under 100 kilo final at the Dusseldorf Grand Prix on Sunday.

The 31-year-old, who took bronze at the London Games in 2012, proved unstoppable throughout the competition, winning all his fights by ippon including the showpiece match which lasted just over 2 minutes.

The bronze medals were won by Javad Mahjoub and Russia’s Adlan Bisultanov.

Lakiv Khammo overcame a nervous start to clinch the 100 kilo category. The Ukrainian judoka survived an early scare as he secured a golden score win against Abdullo Tangriev in the first round before stepping it up gear, beating Sung-Min Kim in the semi-finals and Islam El Shehaby of Egypt in the final thanks to a clinical ippon.

In the women’s event, Germany’s Luise Malzahn looked set to hand the hosts their second gold medal of the day but it wasn’t to be as the 25-year-old failed to deliver in the final. Malzahn, who had showed tremendous strength in the semis to down Britain’s Natalie Powell, was then unable to trouble Audrey Tcheumeo as the French sealed the title with a well taken waza-ari.

In the over 78 kilo class, Maria Suelen Altheman dominated France’s Lucie Louette Kanning and Sisi Ma of China before taking her momentum into the final bout. The Brazilian, a two-time world silver medallist, threw her rival Song Yu with a superb harai-goshi and then pinned down the Chinese fighter with a kuzure-kesa-gatame for 15 seconds to seal a convincing win in 56 seconds.

The third and final day was marked by Marcus Nyman’s performance in the under 90 kilo category as the Swede stunned Olympic champion Ilias Iliadis and reigning World champion Dong Han Gwak in the semi-finals. The 2010 European champion, who had already won here five years ago, then outsmarted his younger rival Krisztian Toth of Hungary who was penalised on three occasions for passivity.

The Dusseldorf Grand Prix has treated judo fans to spectacular bouts and memorable ippons. The three-day event came to a close on Sunday with judokas extending their duties off the tatami, taking time to sign autographs and pose for photos. The next Judo Grand Prix will take place in Tbilisi on the 25th of March.

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