20 May 2024


World Championships Seniors (Individual+Teams)


EJU President László TOTH was a man in demand on the first day of competition at the
Judo World Championships in Abu Dhabi. The European nations set the tone on Sunday, the first day of competition. Italy led the medal table (of 107 nations) after three medal decisions with one gold and one silver medal, with Georgia (1 x gold) in third place. Moreover, France, Germany and Sweden, three other European countries appeared in the top 10.

“It was a very good day for European Judo, on the other hand, these results from Abu Dhabi will fade away after the Olympic Games in Paris. That’s when we need to demonstrate our sporting strength. This is the biggest sporting stage in the world. Especially after the Japanese dominance of judo in Tokyo. We want to play a much better role than in 2021. The more European countries are appearing in the medal table, the better for us. We as the EJU currently support no fewer than 26 – predominantly smaller – nations to bring their top athletes up to world class or to establish them at the top. The Finnish heavyweight Martti Puumalainen and his recent successes, the European Championship title and his victory at the Masters, are a prime example of successful development work. The opening successes of Maltese duo James Zahra and Katryna Esposito in Abu Dhabi were a pointer, that did not go unnoticed internationally. The small and medium-sized nations are catching up and making their mark. That can only be good for European judo.”

The EJU President is also paying particular attention these days on relations with the confederations and associations on other continents. “I had a very constructive discussion with Kodokan President Haruki UEMURA. The initial assessment of the Kodokan seminars as part of the Under-15 Judo Hopes Cup is
positive on both sides without exception. At the same time, we are preparing the Kata seminar after the European Veterans and Kata Championships in Sarajevo (BIH).”

With the newly elected Oceania Judo Union (OJU) President Kate CORKERY, Tóth negotiated favourable and compact travel offers that would maximise as much as possible – i.e. competitions and training camps at favourable conditions. “We will also offer these packages to other continents. This year, we will already be expanding our cooperation invest. This will make our events even more attractive in terms of quantity and quality.”

Once again, the cooperation between the IJF and the EJU will also be emphasised in Abu Dhabi. László Tóth: “Our experts are on site as kind of observers. We take a very close look at all areas. Daily learning and development is part of the business!”

Author: EJU Media