23 May 2024


World Championships Seniors (Individual+Teams)


Zelym KOTSOIEV (AZE) left the last two world championships with a bronze medal in his luggage. In Abu Dhabi, the 25-year-old crowned himself only the third judo World champion for his country. Azerbaijan ranks 4th place in the medal table after the end of the individual competitions out of a total of 107 nations. Thanks to the two gold medals won by Hidayat HEYDAROV (-73) and Zelym KOTSOIEV (-100). Both are now not only newly crowned World champions, but also lead the IJF rankings and will be seeded number one at the Olympic Games in Paris.

“Zelym is a deserving World champion. An athlete like a coach can only wish for,” emphasises head coach Richard TRAUTMANN. “He is a very intelligent judoka who always wants to learn and improve.” While the German praises his protégé, Zelym is on the phone – gold medal around his neck – with the Azerbaijan Judo president Rashad Nabiyev and thanks him for the “perfect support. The coaches, including the president, treat me as an equal at eye level, not from above. It’s fun to work for this team.”

Zelym Kotsoiev became European champion in Montpellier in November 2023, now World champion in Abu Dhabi. “I’m going to take a day off at home and have a rest. Then we’ll work flat out for the Games in Paris, as the next tough training camp starts again. I can promise: I’m going to Paris to win another big title.” Coach Richard Trautmann commented: “The category up to 100 kg is extremely competitive. From my point of view there are three big favourites for gold, in addition to Zelym these are Ilia SULAMANIDZE (GEO) and Matvey KANIKOVSKIY (AIN).”

Postscript: “It’s good that we can now fly to Paris with a really broad chest and can prepare ourselves in peace. I think there is a good chance that we will also win at least one gold medal in Paris.”

Author: EJU Media