27 March 2024



A little over 120 days left to go until the Games of the XXXIII Olympiad or as many like to refer to it: Paris 2024. The judo event will run from 27 July to 3 August. On day one, Italy’s female golden hopes will lay in the hands of current world and Olympic ranked #1 of the -48kg category, Assunta SCUTTO. The 22-year-old judoka stormed into the elite league following what she calls “a trip to Paris just for fun”. More about that further down. 

Assunta, or Susy, as she prefers to be called, was born and raised in a tough neighbourhood of Naples, Scampia. She started judo at the age of five which kept her away from the streets, made her mature earlier and helped her avoid making wrong choices. Her goal at the time was very clear around judo;

To follow my cousin and be able to beat him.

Starting at such a young age also meant Susy had never done any other sport previously or besides. She has a sister who is not into judo, so she is on a solo trip with the gentle art. Solo within the family but not at her club, as her coach Antonio CIANO has always been there for her since she was little. Whilst Susy has a wonderful relationship with teammates, Odette GIUFFRIDA and Alice BELLANDI, her idol remains to be in a position much higher, which is where Susy merits her strength and courage from in life. Becoming an elite judoka was also a natural decision of her own. Within the space of six years, Susy had a lot of emotions to deal with. 


Only six years ago when Susy won her first major international medal in Sarajevo at the European Judo Championships Cadet 2018. She collected silver in the -48kg category. A year later, she became Cadet European Champion. Memories? 

European Cadet Championships 2018, my first important race. I remember the emotion of participating and the great happiness of bringing home the silver medal. Winning the European cadet title in Warsaw was a great satisfaction. I remember my dad’s tears of happiness in the stands and those of my coach Antonio and my disbelief at what I had done. 

I remember the bronze medal too from Almaty at the Cadet World Championships with so much joy. At that time, I was injured, and I didn’t even know if I would be able to fight. Bringing that bronze home for me was like surpassing myself.

Susy won bronze at the junior Europeans in 2021 and soon after became Junior World Champion. In 2022 she topped her tally with a junior world bronze too, at which point she was already heavily disturbing the seniors. First thing first, from cadets to juniors…

I didn’t feel much difference between cadets and juniors. My results as a cadet gave me the right experience to be able to aim for the junior world and European championships.

Junior World Champion 2021. © Gabi Juan


Susy won gold at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam in 2021. At the beginning of that year, she took a trip to Paris to participate at the most prestigious grand slam of the IJF calendar. It was a game changer trip, both mentally and physically.  

I started participating in senior competitions just for fun. I remember that my coach and I decided to go to the grand slam in Paris after winning the junior world championship. We returned home with a 7th place and 4 broken nails. There I understood that the world of seniors was very different from that of juniors; but I didn’t give up and after a while the gold arrived in Abu Dhabi, a beautiful race, I couldn’t believe what I had managed to do, and I took courage in the senior world. This has not overshadowed my previous results in juniors. I have always remembered them with great emotion.

I have always been happy with the junior successes even though I was already achieving senior results, for me every race was important. The biggest differences I noticed are that in the senior world I had to clean up the techniques, I had to learn ne-waza and give importance to the kumi-kata phase as well as study my opponents, things that I didn’t think about in junior competitions as a junior I always did everything by instinct without patterns and thoughts.

The gold in Abu Dhabi gave me confidence that I was up to the seniors even though I was still small, however, race after race I gained more and more courage, but I never aimed for the Olympics at the beginning, it was for fun and to gain experience.


As Susy explained, the thoughts of the Paris Olympics were farfetched despite her successful attempt at the world tour events. This only lasted until she won bronze at the senior worlds in 2022. From that moment on, it was all eyes on the prize. To top up her already extraordinary achievements within a short period of time, Susy claimed world ranked number one spot in 2023. Thoughts around it? 

I don’t know how I feel about being first in the world, I’ve always thought that I always have room to improve, I’m certainly very satisfied and it still doesn’t seem true to me how many results and emotions I’ve felt in just two years of senior competitions.

Tashkent’s world bronze medal was not only the turning point but also remains her most memorable day to date;

The most memorable moment was my first medal at the World Championships in Tashkent because I didn’t think I would be able to win the medal and because the last women to medal in Italy, at that time, was 14 years ago.

Susy’s favourite destination is Japan. She loves the lifestyle and training there makes her return to home, feeling better and with more experience. She believes if her calling wasn’t judo she would have tried artistic gymnastics. Yet, for now, her sole passion is judo. In her free time, she enjoys digital drawing too and seems to be just as talented in the field as she is on the tatami. 

Lastly, Paris 2024 and Italy’s success in judo? 

When I think of the Olympics the first word that comes to mind is Dream! I mostly think about the Olympics when I need motivation, to remind myself why I sacrifice myself every day. This helps me give my best in every workout.

In Italy they give us the opportunity to train each in our own club and with our own coach I think this is the reason for the successes.

In 2023, Susy won yet another world medal at the Doha world championships. Her total medal count also includes two Masters bronze from 2022 and 2023. Her capacity to storm through the cadet, junior and senior stage within the space of an Olympic cycle is truly magnificent. This year already saw a bronze from Susy at the Paris Grand Slam. Indeed, the remaining of the year will bring on more challenges, perhaps the biggest of all when she makes her debut at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.


Weight category -48kg 
Height155 cm
Favourite techniqueMorote-Seoi-Nage 
Study / Qualifications High School Diploma (specialised in Science)
Biggest lesson learned so farI will never fail if I face everything with faith and courage.
MottoFilippesi 4:13
BeveragesI drink only natural water 
ColourAll warm colours
Animal Dog
SongThey don’t care about us – Micheal Jackson 
BookHunger games 
Day of the weekSunday for me is rest day or day that I stay with my family 
Trait Lively
Top 5 bucket list To win the Olympic Games. 
To win the world title. 
Create a solid family. 
Worship his highest. 
May my family always be well.

Author: Szandra Szogedi