Christian PARLATI (ITA) took the silver medal in Tashkent 2022 and going off his preliminary performances, he had a solid chance of getting in to this year’s final as well. Both his strength and ability to switch sides with his wide range of techniques makes him a terribly difficult opponent and he gave Luka MAISURADZE (GEO) a good fight in the first of the -90kg semi final contests on day five of the World Judo Championships Doha 2023. With a minute left on the clock, Maisuradze improved on his bronze medal from last year, scoring waza ari with some timely te waza, destroying Parlati’s chance of the gold medal.
Parlati will compete for bronze against the 2021 world bronze medallist Marcus NYMAN (SWE).
Georgia also had a semi finalist on the other side of the draw, current Olympic champion Lasha BEKAURI, competing against the number one seed, MURAO Sanshiro (JPN). The Japanese athlete scored first with a low uchi mata, then Bekauri quickly evened the score with a tomoe nage. He had finally found his place in the contest and shortly after secured his final place against his team mate.
Last year they both took bronze medals in the -90kg and now they can already celebrate medals together, but who will take the gold? They last met in the Tbilisi Grand Slam final with Bekauri coming out on top and if he repeats this performance he will join Lasha SHAVDATUASHVILI (GEO) in their hall of fame, becoming European, World and Olympic Champion. Adding to this incredible list of championing results, it’ll also mean he has topped the world podium at cadet, junior and senior level.
In the -70kg category, Barbara MATIC (CRO) came incredibly close to retaining her world title and wearing the red back patch for a third year, however in the final seconds of the semi final against NIIZOE Saki (JPN), she ceded a score, a swift and inescapable ko soto from the Japanese athlete meant she would go in to the bronze medal contest against Elvismar RODRIGUEZ (VEN).
On the other side of the draw, Giovanna SCOCCIMARRO (GER) was simply incredible. Coming back from injury recently, she found her feet on the tatami, and then on top of the podium of the Rome European Open, very pleased to be back. Later she achieved a bronze medal in the Tbilisi Grand Slam and today went one better by finding herself in the semi final against Olympic silver medallist Michaela POLLERES (AUT). The pair gave a great effort but Scoccimarro attacked with o uchi gari and changed direction to score with harai maki komi. This is her first world final and it will be the first medal for Germany in this event. Polleres will now take on Great Britains surprise athlete, Katie-Jemima YEATS BROWN.
Author: Thea Cowen