The final day of the World Judo Championships Doha 2023 saw the highly anticipated Mixed Team event come to pass.
Naturally there was a huge focus on both the French and Japanese teams given their Olympic final status which in Paris 2024, the French team will be aiming to hold on to. The current champions, France, weren’t tested on their way to the semi final, only ceding one loss in two rounds as Kestutis VITKAUSKAS (LTU) stole a win against Orlando CAZORLA. Meeting France was Germany, who had conquered their opponents; Kazakhstan and Morocco with straight wins.
A special mention for Morocco, throughout the individual event they took some major wins as big surprises and defeated Greece in a clean sweep this morning as well as a win against Austria, with a deciding win against Aaron FARA. Unfortunately they were no match for Germany and they went in to the repechage against Romania.
From pool A and B, Georgia and Netherlands made it to their respective quarter finals. The Georgians had a tremendous match against Mongolia and they can now celebrate a new addition to the women’s side of the team with Eter ASKILASHVILI who took the fourth win to send her team in to the next round. Brazil put up a stronger fight but in the end, the new world champion Luka MAISURADZE won the decider. Team Georgia then went up against Japan and although Guram TUSHISHVILI opened up with a huge win against SAITO Tatsuru, the rest of the team were unable to follow suit and instead went in to the repechage against Uzbekistan.
In the repechage, Georgia took Uzbekistan to a 3:2 score, and the team depended on Guram TUSHISHVILI for the win against Alisher YUSUPOV. The pair found themselves in a clinch, won by the Georgian, sending them to battle it out with Germany for bronze.
Uzbekistan were leading their quarter against Netherlands but they soon caught up, resulting in a draw, which again was decided by Noel VAN T END, as was the contest against Cuba. The Dutch team went up against the number one seeds of Japan for a place in the final.
Though many may have assumed Japan would take a somewhat easier win, Sanne VAN DIJKE and Karen STEVENSON won their contests making it 2:3 in favour of the Japanese side, with the final chance for the Netherlands to stay in the race left to Roy MEYER, contending with the 168kg Saito. Unfortunately for the Dutch athletes, it ended 4:2 and they will now take on today’s big surprise, Morocco.
Sarah Leonie CYSIQUE made light work of Seija BALLHAUS, Joan-Benjamin GABA took the second win against Alexander Bernd GABLER and Marie Eve GAHIE defeated world silver, Giovanna SCOCCIMARRO to give France a 3:0 score, but Martin MATIJASS brought it back for the German side. Anna Monta OLEK (GER) tried to keep the momentum but she could not contend with Romane DICKO.
Japan will once again take on France for the gold.
Author: Thea Cowen