22 May 2024


World Championships Seniors (Individual+Teams)


Day four of the World Judo Championships 2024 in Abu Dhabi welcomed the -70kg, -90kg and -78kg categories. With no defending World Champions present, the end result would be a completely new batch. Following the preliminaries however, three of the six finalists were looking toward a second title win.

Marie Eve GAHIE (FRA) was the first to step on the tatami, for her third world championships final, attempting to take back the title, winning back in 2019 in Tokyo. It was a terrific final situation for the French team as 2019 bronze medallist, Margaux PINOT, was the contender in the -70kg final. Despite the great level of French women, this was the first time that we see an all-French head to head in a world final. With a same nation contest, no coaches sat in the chairs and the women walked out solo to the central tatami. It was a difficult back and forth, with the pair earning two shidos each heading in to golden score. Gahie attacked with an overstretched o soto gari, which Pinot took advantage of, scoring waza ari with o soto gaeshi to take her first world title. It will be a frustrating conclusion for Gahie, however she still has another title to focus on.

Madina TAIMAZOVA (AIN) © Gabi Juan

Madina TAIMAZOVA (AIN) took the bronze medal against Elisavet TELTSIDOU (GRE), it was a hard fought contest that ended in shidos, with them both displaying a great defence. Gabriella WILLEMS (BEL) also had a tremendous day, but unfortunately fell short in her bronze contest against TANAKA Shiho (JPN) and was forced to settle for 5th place.

At only 20 years-old, Nemanja MAJDOV of Serbia came out and stunned the crowds in Budapest, winning the world title in 2017. Seven years on, he had ambitions to repeat this success, and after a string of convincing wins, he had TAJIMA Goki (JPN) to face in the final. In 2017, Tajima also took a world title as a junior, and has sporadically appeared on the IJF World Judo Tour, taking bronze medals in Ekaterinburg 2019 and Tbilisi 2023. In the end it was yet another drawn out final and golden score endeavour which was eventually won by Tajima who pulled out a winning combination of obi tori gaeshi and ko uchi gari to score waza ari.

World silver medallist Nemanja MAJDOV (SRB) © Gabi Juan

The world ranked #9, Erlan SHEROV, won a historic bronze medal for Kyrgyzstan defeating Christian PARLATI (ITA) and the other bronze medal was awarded to Tristani MOSAKHLISHVILI (ESP) who defeated Caramnob SAGAIPOV (LBN) with utsuri goshi in golden score. Though Sagaipov settled for 5th, this is the best result in the history of Lebanese Judo, and a huge congratulations is deserved, as he defeated number one seed, TOTH Krisztian (HUN) and moved past former World Champion, Noel VAN T END (NED) for this achievement.

The -78kg finalists Alice BELLANDI (ITA) and Anna-Maria WAGNER (GER) have met on five occasions prior to this, and the winning ratio was 4:1 to the German 2021 World Champion. Though Bellandi vowed to top the podium a year ago, this is a very tricky opponent for her and she fell behind early on with two shidos, but keep the pace in to golden score.

It was an impressive bout, but Wagner was the stronger of the two, controlling the head to head and eventually getting the submission from Bellandi from shime waza, Bellandi held off for a long time, determined that this wouldn’t be the end, but there was simply no stopping Wagner today. Not only did she take a second world title, but received the confirmation that she has the Olympic ticket as well.

Anna-Maria WAGNER (GER) does it again! © Gabi Juan

France’s Olympic pick, Madeleine MALONGA (FRA) was up first in the bronze medal contest against LEE Jeongyun (KOR) and though she was unable to even the score on the board after an early waza ari form Lee, the Korean athlete was unable to defend it and eventually picked up a third shido, handing Malonga the contest and the world medal. Next up was another French hopeful, current European Champion and 2011 World Champion Audrey TCHEUMEO (FRA) looking for her fifth world medal against Emma REID (GBR) who was fighting for her first. In unbelievable scenes, Tcheumeo scored first with o uchi gari and transitioned in to osaekomi immediately, with only a single second left on the clock, Reid managed to reverse the hold and stayed tight for the full twenty seconds, swiping the -78kg world bronze medal.


Author: Thea Cowen