22 May 2024


World Championships Seniors (Individual+Teams)


The women in the -70kg and -78kg category may have played well according to their seeding and ranking, but the -90kg category delivered some of the biggest shocks of the World Judo Championships so far in Abu Dhabi. Many of the front runners were forced to accept early exits this time around, but for one man, making it to the final was simply an eventuality.

Nemanja MAJDOV (SRB) came out in 2017 to the World Championships in Budapest, storming the -90kg category to take the title. Since then he managed a bronze in 2019 but has been stumped on his previous endeavours. Caramnob SAGAIPOV of Lebanon was the first major disruptor by taking out top seed, TOTH Krisztian (HUN) but took himself all to the way to the semi final against Majdov. Though he had a pretty smooth run of it, he very much struggled against the former World and European Champion, eventually ceding the contest by shidos. Majdov will now take on TAJIMA Goki (JPN) for his second world title.

For the French team, they can celebrate two medals already with their all-French final in the -70kg category. For Marie Eve GAHIE, this is her third world final and could double up on her golden wins, after winning the event in Tokyo, 2019, and Margaux PINOT took the bronze. Regardless this will be Pinot’s best result, however it will be a bittersweet win for her, as Gahie already has the selection for the Olympic Games. Nevertheless it will be a monumental match up, both have been throwing big today, Gahie finished off Gabriella WILLEMS (BEL) in the semi final with a second waza ari scoring o soto gari. Pinot wasted very little time in her semi final against the top seed and European silver medallist, Elisavet TELTSIDOU (GRE), only 15 seconds in she attacked with ko uchi makikomi.

In the +78kg category, Alice BELLANDI (ITA) made good on her promise last year, after losing out on a place in the final she vowed to return and be topping the podium in 2024. There is still one more hurdle to tackle, but in the semi final, she managed to best Madeleine MALONGA (FRA) with a huge o soto gari. Now she will stand against the 2023 silver medallist, 2021 World Champion and top seed, Anna-Maria WAGNER (GER). There is now a weight lifted from Wagner’s shoulders as she has a guaranteed ticket to Paris, but she will be gearing up for gold today.


Author: Thea Cowen