17 May 2024


World Championships Seniors (Individual+Teams)


The draw for the World Judo Championships 2024 in Abu Dhabi will take place in just over 24 hours. Let’s take a look at the athletes who will be competing on the fifth and final day of individual competition.

Though sitting outside the top eight, defending -100kg World Champion, Arman ADAMIAN (AIN) is back to secure a second, consecutive title, which is potentially the goal for this year as team mate Matvey KANIKOVSKIIY has surpassed him to #3 in the world ranking list and will likely be the Olympic choice.

Interestingly the top three in this category including Ilia SULAMANIDZE (GEO) and Muzaffarbek TUROBOYEV (UZB) will not be competing in Abu Dhabi. Nevertheless, this category tends to be one of the most open and so we will still have an epic battle between the likes of Zelim KOTSOIEV (AZE), Michael KORREL (NED), double World Champion Jorge FONSECA (POR) and double World Champion in the -90kg category, Nikoloz SHERAZADISHVILI (ESP).


Sherazadishvili changed categories following the Tokyo Olympic Games and though he was in and around the podium places, his gold medal finally came in his home city of Tbilisi, giving him the confidence that he is in fact, back on top. There are some spanners to be thrown in the works however, Gennaro PIRELLI (ITA) has been known to spoil the fun, and did so most recently in Dushanbe, defeating Daniel EICH (SUI) for gold.

Again, top seeds; Romane DICKO (FRA) and Raz HERSHKO (ISR) won’t be competing in the +78kg category, and instead the battle for the Olympic place continues for China’s SU Xin and XU Shiyan. In fact, it is the lower four of the seeded places taken up by Europe; Rochele NUNES (POR), Asya TAVANO, yet another Italian athlete who has really found her place in this heavy weight category, Türkiye’s Kayra OZDEMIR and finally Lea FONTAINE (FRA).

Kayra OZDEMIR (TUR) © Emanuele Di Feliciantonio

This isn’t to say that Ozdemir is safe, as waiting in the wings is Hilal OZTURK only two places behind in the world ranking. There could also be upset in the Dutch team, Marit KAMPS currently sits at #14, but a decent result from Karen STEVENSON could change it all.

Finally, the heavy hitters, the +100kg men. For the third week in a row, Temur RAKHIMOV (TJK) is leading in the rankings, and for two weeks settled for silver. To break the silver streak at the World Championships would be some feat, but his opponents are also coming for gold. Though Inal TASOEV (AIN) won’t be competing, assuming he is also selected for the Paris Games, one who has previously defeated Riner, in the Tokyo Games no less, is Tamerlan BASHAEV (AIN) who settled for a European bronze in Zagreb.

Tamerlan BASHAEV (AIN) caused upset in Tokyo, defeating Teddy RINER (FRA) © Gabi Juan

In silver medal position in the continental championships and Tokyo Olympic Games was Guram TUSHISHVILI (GEO), who became World Champion in Baku 2018. Joining Tushishvili in the top eight are Martii PUUMALAINEN (FIN) and the defending Olympic Champion, Lukas KRPALEK (CZE). There has been much back and forth for Krpalek, who became European, World and Olympic Champion in both the -100kg and +100kg categories, on which category he would commit to in Paris.

The national battles continue of course, both Erik ABRAMOV and Losseni KONE are vying for the heavyweight spot on Team Germany, Jelle SNIPPE and Jur SPIJKERS are stuck in the head to head in the Netherlands selection and less than 200 points separate Ibrahim TATAROGLU and Munir ERTUG of Türkiye. Of the last pair however, Tataroglu is in the final qualification position and cannot afford to be pushed out.


Author: Thea Cowen