20 May 2024


World Championships Seniors (Individual+Teams)


Though Asia came out strong on the second day of the World Judo Championships 2024 in Abu Dhabi, the European Judo Union are still in with chances for medals, and even a gold.

Hidayat HEYDAROV (AZE) became the Junior World Champion in 2017, and took a fifth place as a senior the same year. Since then he has placed fifth another two times and settled for three bronze medals. Today however, the recently crowned three-time European Champion was holding nothing back, only gold in mind. Defeating Igor WANDTKE (GER) in the semi final was the key to this, with kata guruma, and then a third shido ceded by the German athlete. Heydarov will now go on to compete against ISHIHARA Tatsuki (JPN) for the world title in the -73kg category.

Nils STUMP (SUI) © Gabi Juan

The defending World Champion, Nils STUMP (SUI) may not be competing for gold, but he is still in with a chance if he can best Wandtke in the bronze medal contest.

In the -57kg category, the duty has been left to Timna NELSON LEVY (ISR) to bring home the medal, as she will face off Jessica KLIMKAIT (CAN) for the bronze medal. After suffering defeat by Christa DEGUCHI (CAN), Nelson Levy battled through the repechage in to the medal contest, but taking on Klimkait will be tough. Klimkait is now facing the fact that she will not be Canada’s Olympic pick for Paris, however she can still leave with something if she can medal.

Timna NELSON LEVY (ISR) © Gabi Juan

As for the -66kg category, Luukas SAHA (FIN) has made a splash today, and will be fighting for bronze against Nurali EMOMALI (TJK), and regardless of the result, should be booking a ticket to the Olympic Games. On the other half of the draw, Matteo PIRAS (ITA) is also officially in the Olympic running, besting the ranking of his team mate with a result last week in Kazakhstan and now a bronze medal contest in the world championships. Piras faces the current European Champion, Vazha MARGVELASHVILI of Georgia for the medal.



Author: Thea Cowen