The World Judo Championships 2019 concluded on Sunday following the Mixed Team event, whereby two European nations took medals including France who placed second to the host nation of Japan, and Russia who took the bronze.
It was certainly a week full of celebration for Europe, taking a grand total of 31 medals; 9 gold, 5 silver and 17 bronze. The 2018 World Champions who managed to keep their titles were Daria BILODID (UKR) in the -48kg category at only 18 years-old and Clarisse AGBEGNENOU (FRA) who also made the French history books with her fourth World title.
Tokyo welcomed in a further six new World Champions in to the fold; Lukhumi CHKHVIMIANI (GEO), Sagi MUKI (ISR), Noel VAN T END (NED), Marie Eve GAHIE (FRA), Jorge FONSECA (POR), Madeleine MALONGA (FRA).
Lukas KRPALEK (CZE), Olympic and World Champion in the -100kg category has, since the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, moved up in to the +100kg and is now planning a double takeover after a gold medal win in Tokyo. With the European Championships 2020 to be held in his home country, the Czech athlete has ambitions for a European and Olympic win in the same year to complete his collection.
President of the European Judo Union, Mr Sergey Soloveychik was very pleased with success of the European teams and has high hopes for the coming year,
I am very satisfied by the results of the European teams. We have seen great battles and a special spirit of our athletes, especially in the final block.
Everybody could see that European athletes have this special spirit and that they are very strong. I would like to congratulate all National Federations and all of the people involved; coaches, clubs, medical staff, presidents. They all did a fantastic job.
Great thanks also to the EJU team. I am very happy that our structure with Olympic Training Camps, Cups and Opens is working very well and has paid off. European and Non-Europeans are using this system. We also support athletes from different countries who don’t necessarily have the training conditions or ability to participate in OTCs or competitions. Now we can see the result of this support with 16 European countries who won 31 medals in Tokyo.
I think we are on the right track for the Tokyo Olympic Games but we should not relax too much. The Olympic Games are a very special event, it needs a special spirit. The mentality is more important than the technical part.
I wish all the best to the National Federation for the upcoming year and to stay focused and bring the glory to their countries and to the European Judo Union at the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020.
There was an official hand over for the next World Championships which will be held in Vienna in 2021 between President of the AJJF, Mr Yamashita Yasuhiro and EJU Vice President, Dr Hans Paul Kutschera. We are pleased to welcome back this prestigious event.
Author: Thea Cowen