The individual competition at the Abu Dhabi World Championships 2024 was rounded out in style on day five of the tournament, as the athletes in the -100 kg, +78 kg and +100 kg categories put their skills to the test in search of that prestigious world title.
IJF Self-Defence Judo for Women programme

Prior to the day’s medal contests, the participants of the first ever IJF Self-Defence Judo for Women programme were welcomed on to the stage to great applause, joined by the IJF president, Mr Marius Vizer, and Secretary General of the UAE Judo Federation Mr Naser al-Tamimi.

Self-Defence Judo for Women is an initiative aimed at equipping women and girls with essential self-defence skills through the practice of judo, offering a comprehensive and effective method of self-defence. Judo teaches not only physical techniques but also instills values such as courage, self-control and respect, which are vital in both self-defence situations and life in general. The programme has been created with the support of both Mr Vizer and Mr Al-Tamimi.

The IJF Self-Defence Judo for Women programme joined the IJF president, Mr Marius Vizer, and Secretary General of the UAE Judo Federation, Mr Naser al-Tamimi, on stage.

Following this introduction, the final individual medals of these world championships were decided and three first-time world champions were crowned. In the -100 kg category, Zelym Kotsoiev ensured Azerbaijan had its most successful world championships ever, taking the country’s second gold medal of the event, following Hidayat Heydarov’s win at -73 kg.

Kotsoiev defeated Shady Elnahas in the final; the Canadian’s silver medal guaranteed his selection for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, ahead of his friend and teammate Kyle Reyes, who finished in fifth place. There was a remarkable bronze medal for 19-year-old Dota Arai (JPN) and two-time world champion at -90 kg, Nikoloz Sherazadishvili, won the other bronze, his first at a world championship since moving up a weight category.

The new world champions

At +78 kg, Japan’s Wakaba Tomita took the gold medal, defeating Kayra Ozdemir (TUR) in the final. Tomita’s first senior world title follows on from her silver medal in 2021, and her junior world title in 2015. Ozdemir’s silver is her best ever result at a world championship, capping an incredible performance from the 36-year-old. Ozdemir’s teammate Hilal Ozturk took the first bronze medal and Hayun Kim (KOR) took the second, which was her second at a world championships.

Minjong Kim (KOR) claimed the title at +100 kg, overcoming the 2018 world champion Guram Tushishvili (GEO) in the final. Tamerlan Bashaev (AIN) and Alisher Yusupov (UZB) won the two bronze medals, which were the second world medals for each of them.

Tomita’s gold confirms that Japan tops the final medal standings with 3 golds, 2 silvers and 4 bronzes. Tushishvili’s silver medal ensures Georgia holds on to second place with a total of 2 golds, 1 silver and 1 bronze, while Kim’s gold moves the Republic of Korea into third place, ahead of Azerbaijan and Italy, with 2 golds and 3 bronzes. Across the event, the medals were shared between a remarkable 24 countries, with 40 countries earning at least one top eight finish, highlighting the continued development of the sport worldwide.

The individual competition may have concluded but one vital day of competition remains. The mixed team event, the jewel in the crown of the world championships, will take place on day six. Don’t miss out; catch all the action live on or on the JudoTV app from 12:00 local time on Friday 24th May, to discover who will be crowned mixed team champions of the world.

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