24 May 2024


World Championships Seniors (Individual+Teams)


For the European judo fans, we know of the prestige from both teams of France and Georgia, who have shared the European Mixed Team title equally the past four years, with Team France becoming victors in the most recent European Championships. Now in Abu Dhabi on the final day of the World Judo Championships 2024, the two teams went head to head for a place in the world final. Of course, we were in for a close contest and the athletes did not disappoint, the team spirit brimming from their tribunes.

Opening the semi final were the +70kg women, Coralie HAYME (FRA) took the first win against Sophio SOMKHISHVILI (GEO), initially scoring with sasae tsuri komi ashi before settling in for the osae komi and starting the match 1-0. With the Georgian team trailing by one point, the current Senior World +100kg silver medallist Guram TUSHISHVILI (GEO) was preparing for his opponent, Cadet World silver and Cadet European bronze medallist in 2023, world ranked #182, Matheo AKIANA MONGO (FRA). Tushishvili was right not to assume this would be an easy win, but he was still the the eventual winner, scoring with ashi guruma, the contest became very physical and a third shido was issued to Akiana Mongo.

Paris Grand Slam winner Faiza MOKDAR (FRA) showed her lightning speed transition skills against Nino LOLADZE (GEO), securing the win in ne waza in just over one minute of the -57kg contest moving France ahead again. Next up was France’s Olympic pick, Joan-Benjamin GABA who faced this years Paris Grand Slam silver medallist, Giorgi CHIKHELIDZE (GEO) who managed to make the score 2:2 within 15 seconds with ko soto gake. One of France’s key team players is the current World Champion Margaux PINOT (FRA) in the -70kg category, who was also part of the European Mixed Team in Zagreb last month. Eter ASKILASHVILI (GEO) couldn’t find a way to stand up to the French athlete, Pinot scored first with ko soto gari and worked her way on to the ground, finding the juji gatame for the submission.

Now 3:2, the next contest was the decider. Olympic Mixed Team Champion, Axel CLERGET (FRA) is renowned for his ne waza skills, and is always a threat on the ground, something Luka BABUTSIDZE (GEO) in the -90kg contest was well aware of. Though he managed an early escape, he was unable to hold off the ne waza king forever who succeeded in finding the submission in shime waza, winning his team the place in the final against Japan.

‘There you have it!’ Axel CLERGET (FRA) takes the winning point! © Gabi Juan

On the other side of the draw, Uzbekistan attempted a win against Japan, but only Muzaffarbek TUROBOYEV (UZB) won his +90kg contest against NAKANO Kanta. The four wins for Japan were earned by ARAI Mao (+70kg), TAMAOKI Momo (-57kg), TANAKA Ryuga (-73kg) and HONDA Mayu (-70kg).

Georgia will now face the Germany for bronze and in the second bronze medal match, Italy will take on Uzbekistan. That guarantees two medals for European Judo in the 2024 World Judo Championships Mixed Team event!


Author: Thea Cowen