8 May 2023


Doha World Championships Seniors 2023


Source: International Judo Federation

Catarina Rodrigues is the EJU Head Sport Director, having had her own elite judo career. Being a world medallist herself means she understands what it takes to be here and fight at this level.

On day 1 in Doha, the technical analysis is Catarina’s, “I really liked the judo today; it’s a great start to this world championships. It may sound obvious but sometimes it isn’t; there’s been lots of throwing and even more intention to throw.

There were very few penalties during the day and this is largely down to the athletes and coaches getting used to the rules and the grips, not taking or breaking them badly. They fix the kumi-kata and throw, with the right emphasis. Even in golden score there were very few shido. This means they deserve that extra time and are working positively; very exciting contests.

Ne-waza exchanges were particularly strong in the women’s category although we saw men comfortable there too, like Jorre Verstraeten, always quick to the catch when a contest goes to the ground. For the women though, it was so hard to find the scores with the throws for some, that the ground work became very important. It’s great to see so many competitors competent in all areas, bringing rounded, well drilled performances.

Statistically today was unusual with 45 women at -48kg and 37 men at -60kg but that could be accounted for in some way by the many internal domestic rivalries, as seen with the Serbian, Spanish, French and Italian teams.

Shirine BOUKLI (FRA) © Gabi Juan

At -48kg Boukli was really powerful today, especially with the hip techniques. Scutto (ITA) didn’t make it to the final but she’s young and made it to the final block, with good ground work too. Tsunoda really did the work, especially with the tomoe-nage and some crisp ne-waza. The variety of judo was really great to see across the category. We had the final we wanted between the numbers 1 and 2 in the seeding. Portuguese and Serbian athletes went out early which was a surprise but it’s such a full category.

From the beginning of the day I liked Garrigos, very calm and focused. It wasn’t an easy pool with the new Georgian and then Takato. Maybe today was really his day. He had everything and was comfortable on the ground.

I watched the Belgian with interest. In every contest he starts slowly and even concedes scores but then from behind he came back strongly with well timed throws. He beat Olympic medallist Mkheidze (FRA) in their opening contest. even though the Frenchman was winning. He was also losing to the athlete from Taipei and threw again to win. Against the Korean he was down by two shido and again he threw. He looks for the right moment and it is of course a risk but today he really went for it strategically early on and then to throw only at the right time.

In the bronze medal match Sardalashvili also came out aggressively and the Belgian held back, such different styles. In that instance it was the energy of the young Georgian which succeeded and that was especially impressive at just 19 years old.


I noted that there were satisfying wins from two of the African athletes who don’t often register wins when against the best. The Anglian won against Germany at -60kg, which was a surprise, and Saddiki of Morocco displayed stunning judo, placing 7th after an outstanding win in the third round against Aghayev (AZE). We hope it’s an indication is development and future success from the continent.

2 unseeded men came to the final block but all 6 women in the -48kg medal contests were seeded.”


Author: EJU Media