With the individual competition coming to a close after five days of intense judo, historic firsts and dramatic moments, only one day remains at the Abu Dhabi World Championships 2024. The jewel in the world championships crown, the mixed team event, promises to close out the week in typically spectacular fashion.
Japan have won all six editions of the World Championships Mixed Teams

The mixed team event is unique in high-level sport. Each team consists of three women and three men from each participating nation, each competing in one of six weight categories against their contemporary in the opposing team. For the women, the weight categories are -57kg, -70kg and +70kg, and for the men the divisions are -73kg, -90kg and +90kg.

In each match, the first team to win a majority of the six contests will be declared the winner and the remaining contests will not be fought. If there is a tie at three wins each, one random weight category will be redrawn and the athletes in that category will re-fight under golden score conditions to determine the victor.

Team France celebrate winning a match at the World Judo Championships - Doha 2023 Mixed Teams

The introduction of the event was an important moment in competitive judo history. The mixed element and prestige of the event have since contributed towards equality in the sport, as countries where the sport has traditionally been dominated by men have invested heavily in their women’s programmes so they can be competitive.

The broader weight category structure makes it simpler for nations to put together a full team but also allows for fascinating cross-weight category clashes which are usually confined to the imagination at the far more common individual events. All of this, combined with the unparalleled atmosphere created by the teams themselves and their supporters, often elevates the performances of the athletes and provides the conditions for some of the most entertaining and dramatic judo contests imaginable.

Team Georgia celebrate winning their first ever medal at the World Judo Championships - Doha 2023 Mixed Teams

The top four teams at the event are seeded, based on their results from the mixed team events at previous world championships, the Olympic Games and the countries’ respective continental championships. A total of 13 teams will compete in Abu Dhabi; in descending order, the top seeds are Japan, France, Georgia and Brazil.

Japan has won all six editions of the event so far and with three new world champions and several more world medallists among their ranks, they will be confident about retaining their title. France has contested the final with Japan in all but the very first mixed team world championship in 2017, but with a below average performance in the individuals, they are not guaranteed to do the same again this year.

The Netherlands team at the World Judo Championships - Doha 2023 Mixed Teams

Team Georgia won their first ever mixed teams world medal in Doha last year and after finishing second in the individual medal table here in Abu Dhabi, they will be hoping to go even further this time. Brazil is the only team other than France to have made it to a mixed teams world final but after failing to win any medals in the individual competition, the athletes will need to give each other a boost if they are to repeat that feat. The Netherlands, like Georgia, took bronze in 2023, making it onto the podium for the first time; they return to the fold and will be keen to be amongst the medals again.

This year’s event will see the participation of Italy for the very first time, an historic milestone which is testament to the continued development of the sport in the country.

Join us and watch the final day of the Abu Dhabi World Championships live at JudoTV.com or on the new JudoTV app. The action kicks off at 12:00 local time on Friday 24th May. Believe us when we say you don’t want to miss it!

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