23 May 2024


World Championships Seniors (Individual+Teams)


Day five of the World Judo Championships 2024 in Abu Dhabi saw the last of the individual competitors look for the world titles in the -100kg, +78kg and +100kg categories.

The defending champion, Arman ADAMIAN (AIN) saw a surprise early exit, but the excitement continued, with double world champions Jorge FONSECA (POR) and Nikoloz SHERAZADISHVILI (ESP) gradually making their way toward a medal contest. Sherazadishvili fell first in the quarter final to Zelim KOTSOIEV (AZE), it was a ballistic contest, but a third shido was issued to the Spanish representative, however he came back through the repechage, defeating George USDILAURI (GER) in ne waza to fight for bronze.


Fonseca had stunned the crowd in his opening two contests, on the tatami for only 20 seconds in total. It looked like a third title could be on the cards for him, however Kotsoiev was on a roll and managed to throw the Portuguese superstar with uchi mata, scoring waza ari, then fell immediately in to the osaekomi. Azerbaijan have potential for a second title this week! There is one last hurdle of course, and that will be top seed Shady ELNAHAS (CAN) who saw out team mate Kyle REYES in the semi final.

There was great upset and great excitement in the Turkish camp on the fifth and final day of individual competition, with both of their +78kg athletes, Hilal OZTURK and Kayra OZDEMIR, making it to their respective semi finals. First to fight for a place in the final was Ozturk against TOMITA Wakaba (JPN), the latter scoring initially setting up with ashi guruma and executing uchi mata for the waza ari score. Though the contest continued, it was abruptly finished due to an injury picked up by Ozturk, whether she will be able to compete for the bronze medal remains to be seen.

An emotional semi final win for Kayra OZDEMIR (TUR) © Gabi Juan

Ozdemir then took on Asya TAVANO (ITA). Ozdemir is already a two-time bronze medallist from 2018 and 2019, but a first final for the 36 year-old. With a wealth of experience, she fought a strong and tactical contest, not rushing, and eventually secured a very uncharacteristically emotional win with harai makikomi. Tavano is still in with a medal chance, and will see KIM Hayun (KOR) for the bronze contest.

There was potential for an Olympic +100kg final rematch here in Abu Dhabi between Guram TUSHISHVILI (GEO) and Lukas KRPALEK (CZE) as they fought their way through opposite sides of the draw. The Georgian 2018 World Champion first took his final place by defeating Alisher YUSUPOV (UZB). It was an evenly fought contest with Yusupov scoring first with an o soto – ko soto gake combination, which Tushishvili swiftly evened with a defensive maki komi. Yusupov then attacked Tushishvili with an overstretched ashi guruma, gifting the Georgian the easy counter and sending him in to the +100kg final.

Unfortunately, we didn’t get the fairytale Olympic final ending as Krpalek suffered a loss to KIM Minjong (KOR). The pair headed in to golden score but a twitch tani otoshi from Kim caught Krpalek off guard, scoring ippon. The current Olympic Champion from Czechia will face Olympic bronze medallist, Tamerlan BASHAEV (AIN) for the world bronze medal.

Lukas KRPALEK (CZE) © Gabi Juan


Author: Thea Cowen