#JUDOWORLDS2018 PREVIEW DAY 1

World Judo Championships Baku 2018

Over 800 athletes from 129 nations will be travelling from around the globe to compete for the title of World Champion. The best of the best will return to the world stage in an attempt to prove themselves, the few minutes on the tatami, a reflection of years of hard work and sacrifice.

This year the esteemed tournament will be hosted in Baku, Azerbaijan between the 20th and 27th of September in the National Gymnastics Arena. After last year’s tremendous premiere of the mixed teams event, we will see a repeat on the eighth and final day of competition.

  • Irina DOLGOVA (RUS) is number two seed for the 2018 World Judo Championships and one of Europe's medal hopefuls.
  • In white, Daria BILODID (UKR) defeated current World Champion TONAKI Funa (JPN) earlier this year. Can she repeat her glory and finally break the curse on Europe in the -48kg category?
  • In blue, CSERNOVICZKI Eva (HUN) has been consistently medalling at the European Championships for over a decade. She won her one and only World bronze back in 2011 and will be eager to seek for success in Baku.
  • In blue, Distria KRASNIQI (KOS) last competed in the -48kg category back in 2014. She shone in the -53kg category, only recently deciding to step down to compete in the lightest weight category on the first day of the World Judo Championships 2018.

Hope for Bilodid to break the barrier 

The -48kg category has denied Europe a gold medal at the World Championships for 27 years, France being the last country to hear their national anthem. With strong results over the past year, the next flag to be flying could be blue and yellow. 

There is no question that all eyes will be on the Ukrainian beauty, Daria BILODID in the -48kg category. With a trail of titles and gold medals, she will step on to the tatami as confident in her judo as ever. BILODID’s mastered technique has ensured her success time and time again, but sadly did not see her step on the podium at the World Championships in Budapest last year, due to an early exit at the hands of bronze medallist Otgontsetseg GALBADRAKH (KAZ). At the 2018 Paris Grand Slam, we saw BILODID defeat the current World Champion, TONAKI Funa (JPN) on her journey to gold. Undoubtedly we will see this exciting young talent give her all on day one of the tournament, will the 17-year old carry on her golden streak and take the World title in Baku? 

Irina DOLGOVA (RUS) will also be stepping on the mat to make up for a loss, only this one is more recent. Having to settle for the silver medal in the Zagreb Grand Prix, the European Champion narrowly lost to BILODID in the final. DOLGOVA also has her share of success including a gold in the Agadir Grand Prix 2018. World and Olympic bronze medallist CZERNOVICZKI Eva (HUN) has been on a steady incline this year, proving that she has what it takes to compete against the other top seeds. Distria KRASNIQI (KOS) has a long list of achievements, yet at a weight division above. Prior to Baku, the 22-year-old judoka had two opportunities in the -48kg category, at the Zagreb Grand Prix and at the Budapest Grand Prix, managing to snitch a bronze at the latter. Regardless of the fact that KRASNIQI will begin her day as an unseeded athlete, there is no doubt she has what it takes to be present in the final block.

  • 2017 European Champion, Robert MSHVIDOBADZE (RUS) will arrive in Baku with a mission to reach the final as will team-mate and Olympic Champion, Beslan MUDRANOV (RUS).
  • In blue, Rio 2016 Olympic Champion, Beslan MUDRANOV (RUS) is amongst the unseed athletes heading to Azerbaijan. The outcome of the draw will be crucial for MUDRANOV as he could possibly meet any of the top seeds first round.
  • In blue, Orkhan SAFAROV (AZE) was the only European athlete on the podium of the -60kg category at last year's World Championships, where he claimed silver. Can the home supporters push him through for gold this week?
  • In blue, World bronze medallist Amiran PAPINASHVILI (GEO) is also in a strong position to take a medal in Baku.
  • #5 seed, Francisco GARRIGOS (ESP) has made an impact at the senior circle with several achievements. Is he ready to step into the top zone?
  • In white, Ashley MCKENZIE (GBR) won bronze at both, the Paris Grand Slam and at the European Championships this year. Camberley Judo Club's lucky charm is ready to turn the unexpected into reality.

Home crowd to boost Safarov for gold 

The men’s lightweight category, -60kg, faced the same fate last year with the gold going to another continent. Despite a quiet year, Orkhan SAFAROV (AZE) will take to the world stage on the first day of competition. The gold medal was just out of grasp at the World Championships last year, losing out to TAKATO Naohisa of Japan. Can the strength of the home crowd lift him to golden glory this time? Surpassing SAFAROV in the seedings are Robert MSHVIDOBADZE (RUS), Amiran PAPINASHVILI (GEO), Francisco GARRIGOS (ESP) and Ashley MCKENZIE (GBR). 

MSHVIDOBADZE lost out on a gold medal earlier this year in the Dusseldorf Grand Slam to the number one seed, NAGAYAMA Ryuju (JPN). An early ura-nage earning NAGAYAMA a waza ari forced the Russian to settle for silver, this could be the opportunity to change the record against the Japanese athlete. The Russian team will come in strong, Olympic Champion, Beslan MUDRANOV joining the ranks to compete for gold.

Picking up some tough medals in the Tbilisi and Budapest Grand Prix tournaments this year, World bronze medallist PAPINASHVILI is in a strong position to take a medal in Baku. Though the Georgian defeated two other European hopefuls, GARRIGOS and MCKENZIE in previous contests, both athletes have made an impact on the senior circuit this year. Notably, Great Britain’s Ashley MCKENZIE taking the bronze in the Paris Grand Slam and European Championships. With an abundance of talent in this weight category, we expect the Baku World Championships to start with some tremendous judo.

Events


News

WORLD JUDO CHAMPIONSHIPS 2018: TOP TEN FACTS

10/01/2018 | 09:22 pm | in
WORLD JUDO CHAMPIONSHIPS 2018: TOP TEN FACTS After an incredible World Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan, here are our top ten facts! The Youngest One Daria BILODID (UKR) got the ball rolling on the first day of the tournament and not only did she take the World Champion title but she... Read more

FRENCH AND RUSSIAN GLORY FOR EUROPE IN TEAM EVENT

09/27/2018 | 03:59 pm | in
FRENCH AND RUSSIAN GLORY FOR EUROPE IN TEAM EVENT Tournament favourites, Japan and France put on a very convincing performance and fulfilled the prophecy by meeting each other in the final day of the World Judo Championships 2018. Each team for the final contained World medallists from this... Read more

OPEN SILVER NOT ENOUGH FOR CERIC

09/27/2018 | 09:58 am | in
OPEN SILVER NOT ENOUGH FOR CERIC In the +78kg category, Europe took two bronze medals, the first Larisa CERIC (BIH) and the second, Kayra SAYIT (TUR). Both competitors proved they were worthy of place on the podium. Larisa CERIC (BIH) was particularly pleased with her World... Read more

TUSHISHVILI TAKES TEDDY'S TITLE

09/26/2018 | 05:51 pm | in
TUSHISHVILI TAKES TEDDY'S TITLE With Teddy RINER (FRA) out of the picture, the opportunity to take the World title in the +100kg category was open to all of the athletes. There were, however, some big names from Europe that were favourites to win. Guram TUSHISHVILI (GEO) and... Read more

FINAL CLAIMS FOR RUSSIA

09/26/2018 | 09:54 am | in
FINAL CLAIMS FOR RUSSIA With only one medal in the tournament so far and no entries for the final day of individual competition, this was Russia’s last chance to bring home another medal in the -78kg and -100kg categories. They struck bronze in each weight... Read more

GEORGIA'S CAPTAIN SECURES SILVER

09/25/2018 | 09:03 pm | in
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SPAINS SHERAZADISHVILI GOES IN THE HISTORY BOOKS

09/24/2018 | 07:55 pm | in
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HEYDAROV ENDS ON A HIGH

09/22/2018 | 06:58 pm | in
HEYDAROV ENDS ON A HIGH The Azeri crowd came out in droves, in support of their athletes today. Representing Azerbaijan were Olympic and World silver medallist, Rustam ORUJOV and junior World Champion Hidayat HEYDAROV in the -73kg category as well as MUNKHTSEDEV... Read more

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09/21/2018 | 06:01 pm | in
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UKRAINIAN STARLET MAKES HISTORY

09/20/2018 | 07:16 pm | in
UKRAINIAN STARLET MAKES HISTORY It is the golden age of the Ukranian superstar. Daria BILODID has made history today as the youngest World Champion at just 17 years old. Not only that but she has broken the 27 year curse on this category, finally taking a gold medal for Europe... Read more

#JUDOWORLDS2018 PREVIEW DAY 7

09/19/2018 | 01:55 am | in
#JUDOWORLDS2018 PREVIEW DAY 7 With only a few hours to go until the official draw of the 2018 World Judo Championships, we are ready to introduce the remaining two weight divisions, Women +78kg and Men +100kg category. __gallery_1,2,3__ Host nation to close on European... Read more

BAKU: A CITY OF CHAMPIONS

09/19/2018 | 12:27 am | in
BAKU: A CITY OF CHAMPIONS On the eve of the 2018 World Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan, the International Judo Federation hosted the Hall of Fame Gala on the 18th of September. __img1full__ On this occasion, the IJF inducted renowned and experienced individuals in... Read more

#JUDOWORLDS2018 PREVIEW DAY 6

09/17/2018 | 12:22 am | in
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#JUDOWORLDS2018 PREVIEW DAY 5

09/16/2018 | 11:01 pm | in
#JUDOWORLDS2018 PREVIEW DAY 5 On day five, current World Champions will return to the scene in both the -70kg and -90kg categories. As per the ladies, Europe will find many challenges to claim medals, however the men appear to be in a stronger position for a shot at the... Read more