24 May 2024


World Championships Seniors (Individual+Teams)


It had been an incredible day for Italy in the World Judo Championships 2024 Mixed Team event, their initial head to head against the Netherlands went to a decider, and as fate would have it, the -70kg category was selected, meaning the former Dutch judoka, Kim POLLING was battling her old team mate. It was an emotional win, happy to be the victor, but conflicted feelings nonetheless.

As the team progressed, they were defeated by France, but came back up through the repechage against Hungary, and took on the strong team of Uzbekistan for the bronze medal. Current +100kg World bronze medallist, Alisher YUSUPOV (UZB) made a quick win in ne waza against Nicholas MUNGAI (ITA) which seemed to fuel the Italian side for a huge comeback.

Thauany David CAPANNI DIAS (ITA) © Gabi Juan

Thauany David CAPANNI DIAS stepped up against two-time World silver medallist, Diyora KELDIYOROVA (UZB), surprising her opponent first with a controlled tani o toshi and later, te waza. The Italian athlete demonstrated her tremendous strength in this moment, levelling the score. Giovanni ESPOSITO (ITA) followed suit by defeating Shakhram AHADOV after a quickly debated motion, the referee commission confirmed that Esposito had in fact attacked with o uchi gari and then Ahadov had attempted to execute sumi gaeshi. Now 2:1 to Italy.

Giovanni ESPOSITO (ITA) © Gabi Juan

Following Polling’s first round win, Irene PEDROTTI took her place for the next rounds and was the bronze medal athlete in the -70kg category, though she fought well, it was Gulnoza MATNIYAZOVA (UZB) who threw the contest, and was issued hansoku make for head diving, now the score was 3:1. One more win would give Italy their first World Mixed Teams medal. Lorenzo RIGANO (ITA) really gave his all to be the fourth win, however he didn’t have an answer for the experienced Sharofiddin BOLTABOEV (UZB), and instead of collecting a win, collected three shidos instead, the third for a false attack.

As the score was now 3:2, the next contest was still a deciding point, and Asya TAVANO (ITA), who took fifth place in the +78kg category in the individual event, was not about to let her team down and be at risk of another 5th place finish. A huge ashi guruma scored the waza ari for the Italian judoka, which was followed up by some great technical ability on the ground, looking for and applying the juji gatame for the win!


Author: Thea Cowen