Name: Amandine Buchard
Weight Category: -52kg
It may come as little surprise that once again, the French athlete Amandine has managed to retain her lead in the IJF World Ranking List following an incredible year.
Though she took early gold medals in the Baku Grand Slam and Marrakech Grand Prix, as well as a European Games bronze, the unsurprising highlight came in the form of her triumph in the Osaka Grand Slam only last month.
An tough and emotional year in 2018 for Buchard but she still managed to top the WRL that year. – Rafal Burza
She has the ability to beat the best of the best in the -52kg category but ABE Uta (JPN) has stood in her way in two semi finals and two finals at major events including the World Championships, in November, she finally turned the table. The exciting athlete always gives a top performance and on this day she was unstoppable, surprising the home crowd in Japan with a stunning golden score finish.
An Olympic debut in Tokyo next year could be set to be an enthralling one but for now we will look forward to the highly anticipated Paris Grand Slam.
Cover image: Marina Mayorova, IJF
Author: Thea Cowen