Saudi Arabia (KSA)
Mutaz KHAWJAH -60kg
World number 317 KHAWJAH, 20, will make his World Championships debut on day one. The tomoe-nage specialist joined the IJF World Judo Tour for the first time in July with a trip to Croatia for the Zagreb Grand Prix. KHAWJAH, who finished fifth at the Tunis Junior African Cup last year, lost out to Vugar SHIRINLI (AZE) by the maximum score from an ippon-seoi-nage.
Abdulaziz ALBASHI -66kg
Former Taipei Asian Open bronze medallist ALBASHI, 24, returns to the World Championships stage for the first time since his debut in 2014. The world number 205 won his first contest at Chelyabinsk 2014 against Ka Chun LAU (HKG) by a waza-ari score before falling to Sofiane MILOUS (FRA) in the subsequent round by ippon.
Abdulelah ALJAYZANI -66kg
Rank outsider ALJAYZANI, 18, will make his IJF World Judo Tour on the grandest stage on the international circuit. The teenager, who is believed to be proficient with an ippon-seoi-nage, finished fifth at the Tunis Cadet African Cup last year and with no senior international events to his name does not have a ranking and can therefore expect to be pitted against a world-class opponent in the early rounds.
Sulaiman HAMAD -73kg
World number 169 HAMAD, 24, is Worlds-bound for the fourth time in his career. The ippon-seoi-nage ace is winless at the World Championships after three efforts and will hope to break new ground in Baku. HAMAD finished fifth at the Taipei Asian Open last year and received a wildcard for the Rio 2016 Olympics where he lost out to DAVAADORJ Tumurkhuleg (MGL).
Abdullah HAMAD -73kg
World number 215 HAMAD, 21 makes his first appearance at the World Championships in Azerbaijan. HAMAD has seen action at two Grand Prix and as many Grand Slam but is best remembered for his seventh-place finishes at the Junior Asian Championships in 2016 and 2017.
Mohammed ALHARBI -81kg
Two-time World Championships competitor ALHARBI, 27, has campaigned on the IJF World Judo Tour since 2015. World number 286 ALHARBI finished fifth at the Taipei Asian Open last year with a 1:3 record. The -81kg judoka is the heaviest member of his team and will therefore be the sixth and final judoka from Saudi Arabia to grace Baku 2018.
Ndeye Oumy KAMARA -57kg
Dakar African Open bronze medallist KAMARA, 23, joins the world’s elite judoka for the first time in Azerbaijan. The world number 150, who finished fifth at the African Championships in 2016 and 2017, will be the first judoka to compete in Baku from Senegal’s three-strong female team.
Bigue NDIAYE -78kg
Junior African Championships gold medallist NDIAYE, 17, is one of the most accomplished teenage judoka in the world. NDIAYE, who has only fought once at the senior level and therefore has no IJF ranking, finished third at the Cadet African Championships in 2016 to alert her continent to her presence and backed that up with silver at the Junior African Championships last year before stepping up to take gold this year.
Monica SAGNA +78kg
African Championships bronze medallist SAGNA, 27, is one of Africa’s most complete heavyweight judoka. The world number 42 seems to medal at her continental championships at will and has won two continental open gold medals. SAGNA has campaigned at three World Championships without attracting any attention but, based on her form, has arguably her best shot at recording a first Worlds contest win at Baku 2018.
Moussa DIOP -60kg
African Championships bronze medallist DIOP, 20, is apprioately ranked number 60 in the world. The ippon-seoi-nage technician will be negotiating his first World Championships but with his continental medal but will be a better position than a good portion of his -60kg counterparts.
Tidiane DIOP -66kg
World number 250 DIOP, 22, is a complete newcomer to the IJF World Judo Tour and has picked the World Championships to make his introduction to the elite level. DIOP finished seventh at the Dakar African Open last year and will be competing outside of his homeland for the first time.
Amadou Diop FALL -73kg
Former Junior African Championships silver medallist FALL, 21, will feature for Senegal at the World Championships for the first time in his young career. World number 413 FALL won bronze at the Dakar African Open last year – his first senior medal – but has decided to make the transition from -66kg to -73kg in 2018 and will competing at his new weight for only the second time.
Baye DIAWARA -90kg
DIAWARA, 39, will be making his fourth World Championships and will be the oldest judoka in the competition. The osoto-gari specialist vacated the -81kg category to move up to -90kg in 2016 and will be aiming to record his first contest win at the worlds since 2011.
Mbagnick NDIAYE +100kg
African Championships silver medallist NDIAYE, 24, will be fighting at his third World Championships. NDIAYE fought at two World Championships in the space of four months last year as he fought at Budapest 2017 and then participated in the Openweight World Championships. The world number 35 will be hoping to record a contest win at the premier event of the season for the first time.
Milica NIKOLIC -48kg
World number five NIKOLIC, 23, is a perennial contender but has not been able to get over the finish line at a World Championships. The six-time Grand Slam medallist finished fifth at the Worlds last year after losing out to Olympic bronze medallist KONDO Ami (JPN) for bronze.
Jovana ROGIC -57kg Former Grand Slam gold medallist ROGIC, 30, is a veteran of five World Championships. The world number 25 has not placed at the Worlds but has won all three forms of hardware available at a Grand Slam and has seven Grand Prix medals in her prize cabinet.
Strahinja BUNCIC -66kg
Current u23 European Championships bronze medallist BUNCIC, 22, will be making his second appearance at the World Championships for Serbia. World number 70 BUNCIC will not want to talk about his introduction at Budapest 2017 but the record books will always show a one-sided defeat at the hands of KIM Limhwan (KOR) by the margin of three waza-ari scores.
Aleksandar KUKOLJ -90kg
World number one KUKOLJ, 27, appeared destined to become Serbia’s first world champion at Budapest 2017. He was the reigning European champion and top-ranked judoka but the only thing guaranteed on the judo mat is that nothing is guaranteed. KUKOLJ finished fifth last year and will be out for gold in 2018.
Nemanja MAJDOV -90kg
World champion MAJDOV, 22, produced one of the most remarkable victories at Budapest 2017. With no IJF gold medal to his name, MAJDOV worked his way through the rounds and achieved the unthinkable. The world number six has looked the part in his red backpatch this year with silver medals at the Antalya Grand Prix and European Championships and a bronze medal at the Zagreb Grand Prix.
Bojan DOSEN -100kg
Belgrade European Cup silver medallist DOSEN, 26, joins his country’s star-laden ranks at a World Championships for the first time. The world number 69 has won five medals at the continental cup level and will hope to draw inspiration from his country’s two -90kg stars that will compete the day before him.
Zarko CULUM +100kg
Belgrade European Cup winner CULUM, 22, will have to wait until day seven to compete. The Serbian team will be optimistic that they will already have their share of medals by this point but CULUM will be focused on his own competition day. The emerging heavyweight won his sole IJF honour at the Antalya Grand Prix last year where he earned a bronze medal.
Nantenaina FINESSE -90kg
Former Junior African Championships bronze medallist FINESSE, 22, will be the only judoka to feature for the Seychelles at Baku 2018. World number 261 FINESSE made his Worlds debut last year in a losing effort against Matthew KOCH (USA) who prevailed by ippon from a harai-goshi-gaeshi.
Viktoria MAJOROSOVA -57kg
Rome European Open bronze medallist MAJOROSOVA, 26, is the only female member of Slovakia’s six-strong team. The tai-otoshi expert went 1:1 on her Worlds debut a year ago and will be looking to finish with a winning record at Baku 2018 to bolster her Tokyo 2020 ambitions.
Matej POLIAK -66kg
Former European Championship bronze medallist POLIAK, 25, will be the first judoka from Slovakia to fight at Baku 2018. The world number 77, who makes his World Championships debut in Azerbaijan, has experience of one Grand Slam and seven Grand Prix events where his best result was a fifth-place at the Tbilisi Grand Prix last year.
Filip STANCEL -81kg
Former Slovakian Championships silver medallist STANCEL, 23, will be a new name in the hat at the World Championships as he awaits his fate in the -81kg draw. The world number 164 has not won a senior international medal and arrives in Baku with modest expectations.
Peter ZILKA -90kg
Former Bratislava European Cup gold medallist ZILKA, 24, enjoyed a good start to the World Championships last year as he went 2:1 in Budapest. The world number 44 returns with more confidence and know-how in 2018 and will be aiming high for Slovakia on day five.
Milan RANDL -90kg
Former Moscow Grand Slam bronze medallist RANDL, 31, is arguably the most established member of the Slovakian team. The London 2012 Olympian, who is ranked number 81 in the world, finished a career-best fifth at the World Championships in 2009.
Matej HAJAS -100kg
Former Slovakian Championships gold medallist HAJAS, 24, makes his inaugural appearance a World Championships. The world number 76 has been there, finished up short, and left without the t-shirt at seven Grand Prix and one Grand Slam but has gone 1:1 at Grand Prix in Budapest and Zagreb in recent months and will fancy his chances in the early stages in Baku.
Marusa STANGAR -48kg
Tbilisi Grand Prix gold medallist STANGAR, 20, opens her country’s competition on day one and could be a surprise package at -48kg. The world number 17 has won all three of her Grand Prix medals this year and has made an immediate impact since leaving behind the junior ranks last year.
Petra NAREKS -52kg
Former Tokyo Grand Slam silver medallist NAREKS, 35, is set to compete at her third World Championships. The world number 49 has won two Grand Slam medals and three Grand Prix medals but has not been in action in 2018. NAREKS took bronze at the Tashkent Grand Prix in October at her last competition.
Kaja KAJZER -57kg
Agadir Grand Prix silver medallist KAJZER, 18, has been included in the World Championships far earlier that she would ever have expected. That is because her results have impressed the Slovenian selection team and now KAJZER can make the -57kg spot her own on the road to Tokyo 2020.
Tina TRSTENJAK -63kg Olympic champion TRSTENJAK, 28, lost her world title one year ago to arch-rival Clarisse AGBEGNEOU (FRA) in the reverse of the Rio 2016 final. World number three TRSTENJAK started her season with gold at the Tunis Grand Prix, bronze at the Paris Grand Slam and a secured silver medals at the Zagreb Grand Prix and European Championships.
Andreja LESKI -63kg
Düsseldorf Grand Slam gold medallist LESKI, 21, will be a dangerous judoka on her Worlds debut. LESKI has already won two IJF titles this season with gold at the Agadir Grand Prix following a stunning win in Germany. The young Slovenian will be seeded and forms a daunting double act at -63kg for her country.
Klara APOTEKAR -78kg
Former Junior World Championships silver medallist APOTEKAR, 21, made her Worlds debut last year in a losing effort against Mayra AGUIAR (BRA). The Slovenian fell to the double Olympic bronze medallist by ippon from a osoto-gari as the Brazilian went on to win gold. World number 14 APOTEKAR took bronze at the Düsseldorf Grand Slam in February.
Anamari VELENSEK +78kg
Olympic bronze medallist VELENSEK, 27, moved up to the heavyweight category in 2017 after medalling in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. The world number 13 has won two Grand Prix gold medals, one silver and one bronze since the switch and will be campaigning at +78kg at the Worlds for the first time.
Matjaz TRBOVC -60kg
Tunis Grand Prix silver medallist TRBOVC, 29, makes his second appearance at the World Championships which is a surprisingly low number considering his age and skills. TRBOVC was just shaded on his Worlds debut by Mukhriddin TILOVOV (UZB) in round one by a waza-ari score from a sode-tsurikomi-goshi. The world number 33 has won two Grand Prix silver medals.
David STARKEL -60kg
Former Bratislava European Cup gold medallist STARKEL, 22, makes his first start at the World Championships in Baku. World number 89 STARKEL won his national championships in March and took bronze at the Mediterranean Games in June.
Adrian GOMBOC -66kg
European Championships gold medallist GOMBOC, 23, is in line for his first World Championships and could major a major splash on day two in the -66kg category. The world number 13 has won two IJF titles in the form of the Budapest Grand Prix in 2016 and Agadir Grand Prix this year.
Martin HOJAK -73kg
Former Junior World Championships bronze medallist HOJAK, 20, will battle for senior Worlds honours for the second time. The world number 43 finished fifth at the Zagreb Grand Prix in July and will aim to employ his uchi-mata to record contest wins and be a contender for Slovenia at -73kg.
David KUKOVICA -90kg
Dubrovnik European Cup silver medallist KUKOVICA, 26, is inscribed for his first World Championships. The world number 136 has experience of mixed team competition after fighting at the European event in Russia in July and will be chasing success on the individual and team front.
Vito DRAGIC +100kg
Taipei Asian Open bronze medallist DRAGIC, 25, will be the last judoka to compete for Slovenia at Baku 2018. The Worlds debutant, who is ranked number 82 in the world, finished fifth at the Zagreb Grand Prix in 2016 and seventh and the Zagreb Grand Prix this year.
Geronay WHITEBOOI -48kg
African Championships bronze medallist WHITEBOOI, 22, makes her World Championships debut in Baku. The world number 59 will see action on day one in the -48kg category and will be an unknown quantity in only her second IJF World Judo Tour event
Unelle SNYMAN -78kg
African Championships bronze medallist SNYMAN, 22, makes her Worlds bow in Baku and has a similar level of experience to her teammate WHITEBOOI. The world number 55, who won continental bronze in the openweight category in addition to her traditional -78kg participation, finished fifth at Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games.
South Korea (KOR)
KANG Yujeong 48kg
Paris Grand Slam silver medallist KANG, 22, has stamped her name on the IJF World Judo Tour in 2018. The former Ulaanbaatar Grand Prix runner-up took silver in the French capital in February to earn her first Grand Slam medal. KANG clinched silver at the Hohhot Grand Prix in May with one defeat at the hands of Olympic bronze medallist KONDO Ami (JPN) in the final.
PARK Da Sol -52kg
Asian Games silver medallist PARK, 22, will compete in her second World Championships and first since 2013. The world number 22 won bronze at the Hohhot Grand Prix in May to start her quest for Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualification and could be a contender for South Korea on day two.
KWON Youjeong -57kg
World Judo Masters bronze medallist KWON, 23, finished seventh at her first World Championships a year ago. World number 12 KWON has been amongst the medals in 2018 with silver at the Tunis Grand Prix and bronze at the Hohhot Grand Prix.
KIM Jisu -57kg
Junior World Championships bronze medallist KIM, 17, announced her arrival on the IJF World Judo Tour by winning a sensational bronze medal at the Paris Grand Slam in February. The world number 38 went 4:1 in France and as a result has been called up to her first World Championships.
KIM Jijeong -63kg
Former Asian Championships bronze medallist KIM, 21, has been active on the circuit in 2018 in her first year on the IJF World Judo Tour. KIM has graced the Paris Grand Slam and Hohhot Grand Prix this season and recorded one contest win over Andrea GUTIERREZ (MEX) by a waza-ari score from her seoi-nage.
JEONG Hye Jin -70kg
World number 74 JEONG, 23, has received the call for her third World Championships. The former Cadet World Championships bronze medallist was part of her country’s team which won bronze in the mixed team event a year. In individual competition JEONG has a best result of fifth-place from the 2017 Hohhot Grand Prix.
LEE Jeongyun -78kg
Asian Championships bronze medallist LEE, 22, will take part in her first World Championships for South Korea and will have to wait until day six to compete. The world number 39 won bronze at the Hohhot Grand Prix last year and finished seventh at the 2016 Tokyo Grand Slam and these results remain her best outings on the IJF World Judo Tour.
KIM Minjeong +78kg
World number one KIM, 30, won bronze at Budapest 2017 and has been widely backed to be back on the podium in Baku. The Paris Grand Slam gold medallist clinched silver medals at the Hohhot Grand Prix and Asian Games and has medalled at her last five competitions.
HAN Mi Jin +78kg
Former Hohhot Grand Prix winner HAN, 23, joins the World Championships for the first time in Baku. HAN won gold in Inner Mongolia last year but could only manage fifth-place in 2018. Nevertheless, the South Korean coaching team have elected to double up at +78kg and will believe that they have two medal opportunities in the women’s heavyweight category.
LEE Harim -60kg
Asian Games bronze medallist LEE, 21, will be a new name at the World Championships and will not have long to wait to make his debut. LEE, who took silver at the 2015 Junior World Championships, has been in action in Paris and Hohhot this year where he won one contest and lost one contest at each event.
CHOI In Hyuk -60kg
Former Qingdao Grand Prix gold medallist CHOI, 24, finished seventh at the World Championships in 2014 and 2015. CHOI could strike at Baku 2018 at his third attempt but will have to rediscover his best judo. The world number 68 last graced an IJF medal podium in 2016 when he won bronze at the Tokyo Grand Slam.
AN Baul -66kg
Olympic silver medallist AN, 24, held the world title in 2015. The world number six, who lost out to Fabio BASILE (ITA) in the Rio 2016 Olympic final, has won gold at the Paris Grand Slam and Asian Games this year and will be a leading contender for his country on day two as he looks to regain his world crown.
AN Changrim -73kg
Double world bronze medallist AN, 24, is capable of winning the world title. The hugely talented world number seven is one of the stars of the -73kg category and has medalled at his last seven events. AN almost always medals at major events but his challenge will be to turn his medal-winning displays into title wins with gold in his sights in Baku.
AHN Joonsung -73kg
Tokyo Grand Slam bronze medallist AHN, 21, makes his World Championships debut in Baku. The world number 60 went 5:1 in Japan in December to claim his first IJF World Judo Tour medal. The seoi-nage specialist has not fought since Tokyo and will hope that he can still feel sharp and contest ready.
LEE Seungsu -81kg
Two-time Grand Slam silver medallist LEE, 28, finished fifth at the World Championships in 2015. The world number 24 has had a strong season this year with a silver medal to show for his efforts at the Paris Grand Slam and a bronze medal from the Hohhot Grand Prix.
GWAK Donghan -90kg
Olympic bronze medallist GWAK, 26, has won the Hohhot Grand Prix and Asian Games in 2018. The world number four won the World Championships in 2015 and since then has been a leading force in the -90kg category. GWAK won bronze at Budapest 2017 and will expect to improve on that return in Baku.
CHO Guham -100kg
Two-time Grand Slam winner CHO, 26, took silver at the Asian Games last month. The former +100kg fighter won the Hohhot Grand Prix in May having started his year with silver at the Paris Grand Slam. World number 10 CHO has never medalled or placed at the Worlds and will be looking to put that right on day six in Azerbaijan.
KIM Minjong +100kg
Cadet World Championships gold medallist KIM, who only turned 18 two weeks ago, is an exciting and bold inclusion by South Korea. KIM, who won the Junior Asian Championships in May, is undefeated in international competition and the fact that he will make his IJF World Judo Tour debut at the Worlds shows the level of expectations of the South Korean coaching team.
Julia FIGUEROA -48kg
Two-time Grand Slam winner FIGUEROA, 27, returns to the World Championships for a third tilt at honours at the IJF’s marquee competition. The world number 23 won bronze at the Agadir Grand Prix in March after fifth-place finishes at the Paris Grand Slam and Tunis Grand Prix.
Laura MARTINEZ ABELENDA -48kg
Junior World Championships silver medallist MARTINEZ ABELENDA, 19, has been called up to the senior showpiece for the first time. The highly-regarded junior has experience of one Grand Prix and two Grand Slam events and took silver at the Madrid European Open in June.
Ana PEREZ BOX -52kg
Current u23 European Championships bronze medallist PEREZ BOX, 22, opened her IJF medal account with bronze at the Hohhot Grand Prix in May. The Tokyo 2020 hope, who is ranked number 39 in the world, makes her World Championships bow in Azerbaijan.
Jaione EQUISOAIN -57kg
Former Almaty Grand Prix silver medallist EQUISOAIN, 24, is set for her fourth World Championships. The Valencia Judo Club player, who is ranked number 31 in the world, took silver at the Odivelas European Open in February.
Isabel PUCHE -63kg
Two-time Grand Prix silver medallist PUCHE, 31, is poised for her fifth World Championships. The world number 55 is one of the most experienced judoka in the Spanish team. PUCHE has won bronze medals at European Open events in Odivelas and Madrid this year.
Maria BERNABEU -70kg
World bronze medallist BERNABEU, 30, is the most decorated female member of Spain’s team for Baku 2018. The world number 27, who finished fifth at the Rio 2016 Olympics, took silver at the Worlds in 2015 and proved that result was not a one-off by winning bronze a year ago.
Sara RODRIGUEZ -70kg
Madrid European Open gold medallist RODRIGUEZ, 22, joins the -70kg division at a World Championships for the second time. The world number 45 has finished seventh and Grand Prix and Grand Slam events and will be aiming to record her first contest win at a Worlds in Baku.
Francisco GARRIGOS -60kg
Former Junior World Championships gold medallist GARRIGOS, 23, has won Grand Prix and Grand Slam gold. The world number five took silver at the World Judo Masters in December to give an indication of his standing in this cycle as he plots his path to Tokyo 2020 which would be his second Olympics.
Alberto GAITERO MARTIN -66kg
World number 27 GAITERO MARTIN, 22, has signed up for his second World Championships. Former Junior World Championships silver medallist GAITERO MARTIN picked up Grand Prix medals for the first time in 2017 as he took silver in Cancun and won bronze at The Hague.
Alfonso URQUIZA SOLANA -81kg
Madrid European Open silver medallist URQUIZA SOLANA, 24, will make his Worlds debut in Azerbaijan. The world number 87 fought at the Junior World sin 2013 and 2014 and is not ready to graduate to the senior version.
Nikoloz SHERAZADISHVILI -90kg
World number three SHERAZADISHVILI, 22, has two silver medals to his name from the Junior World Championships. Abu Dhabi Grand Slam winner SHERAZADISHVILI will be a contender in Baku and the tai-otoshi stylist will be one of the top seeds as he’s currently ranked third in the world.
Adrian NACIMIENTO LORENZO -90kg
Madrid European Open bronze medallist NACIMIENTO LORENZO, 28, fought at back-to-back World Championships in 2014 and 2015. The world number 160 finished fifth at the Paris Grand Slam in 2015 which remains his best result on the IJF World Judo Tour.
Angel PARRA +100kg
Madrid European Open bronze medallist PARRA has fought at three World Championships and returns to the sport’s top annual event for the first time since 2011. The world number 95 finished seventh at the Tunis Grand Prix in January.
Anna BERNHOLM -70kg World number three BERNHOLM, 27, is in line to challenge for honours in Baku. The World Judo Masters bronze medallist won gold at the Antalya Grand Prix in April to capture her second IJF title after winning the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam last year.
Tommy MACIAS -73kg
Antalya Grand Prix gold medallist MACIAS, 25, will launch his fourth bid for World Championships honours in Baku. The world number three will benefit from a seeded position and has been in fine form in 2018. MACIAS won bronze at the European Championships in April and finished seventh at the Paris Grand Slam.
Robin PACEK -81kg
Budapest Grand Prix bronze medallist PACEK, 27, will join the World Championships for the fifth time in Baku. The talented Swede is a three-time Grand Prix bronze medallist and is ranked number 66 in the world.
Joakim DVARBY -100kg
World number 21 DVARBY, 29, finished fifth at the World Championships in 2013. The seven-time Grand Prix medallist took silver in the Hohhot Grand Prix in May and will be chasing glory on day six.
Martin PACEK -100kg
Two-time Grand Slam gold medallist PACEK, 31, finished a career-best fifth at the 2014 World Championships. The Rio 2016 Olympian is a tricky veteran who can subdue the most lauded judoka in his weight and will look to conclude the individual tournament on a high for Sweden.
Evelyne TSCHOPP -52kg
World number 12 TSCHOPP, 27, has been in the best form of her career this year. TSCHOPP won the Agadir Grand Prix in March, took silver at the Tbilisi Grand Prix two weeks later and won bronze at the European Championships in April.
Fabienne KOCHER -52kg
Sarajevo European Cup gold medallist KOCHER, 25, will compete at her third World Championships in Baku. The world number 109 finished seventh at the Worlds in 2014 and that spirited effort remains her finest moment on the IJF World Judo Tour.
Nils STUMP -73kg
Tbilisi Grand Prix bronze medallist STUMP, 21, represents the next generation of Swiss judo. The world number 45, who won two Junior European Championships bronze medals, has made a bright start to life on the IJF World Judo Tour in 2018 including his surprise podium in Georgia after going 4:1 in Tbilisi.
Timo ALLEMANN -73kg
Two-time European Cup gold medallist ALLEMANN, 22, will make his Worlds bow in Baku. ALLEMANN has won gold at European Cup events in Sarajevo and Dubrovnik this year and will hope that his winning feeling will energise him towards placing in Azerbaijan.
Ciril GROSSKLAUS -90kg
Former Abu Dhabi Grand Slam bronze medallist GROSSKLAUS, 27, is set for his sixth World Championships. The uchi-mata specialist is the most well-known Swiss judoka and will have his eyes on the prize on day five in Baku.
Patrik MOSER -100kg
Madrid European Open bronze medallist MOSER makes his World Championships debut at the ripe old age of 31. World number 59 MOSER finished fifth at the Agadir Grand Prix in March and will be looking to make his long-awaited appearance count in Baku.
Mohamad AKKASH -60kg
IJF World Judo Tour newcomer AKKASH, 23, will be the Syria’s only judoka at Baku 2018. The Worlds debutant has fought at two European Cup events this year in Germany and Slovakia which included a shock win over former World Judo Masters silver medallist Vincent LIMARE (FRA) by ippon.
Sukhrob BOQIEV -60kg
Junior Asian Cup gold medallist BOQIEV, 19, makes his Worlds debut in Baku where he will be the first of Tajikistan’s nine-man team to see action. The world number 62 finished seventh at both the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam and Tashkent Grand Prix in 2017.
Navruz KARIMZOD -66kg World Championships debutant KARIMZOD, 21, has Grand Prix and Grand Slam experience but is still chasing a first contest win outside of Asian. The world number 321 fought at the Ekaterinburg Grand Slam last year where he narrowly lost out by a waza-ari to Bagrati NINIASHVILI (GEO) from a ko-soto-gake.
Behruzi KHOJAZODA -73kg
World number 50 KHOJAZODA, 23, is set for his second World Championships and could chip away at the -73kg field on day three. KHOJAZODA finished seventh at the Asian Championships last year and secured the same result at the Asian Games last time out but has won contests at Grand Prix and Grand Slam events.
Somon MAKHMADBEKOV -73kg
Junior World Championships bronze medallist MAKHMADBEKOV, 19, is a highly-rated prospect from Tajikistan. MAKHMADBEKOV will make his Worlds debut in Baku and has no experience of senior international events but has enough experience around him to keep his composure and give it his all for his country.
Akmal MURODOV -81kg
Former Junior Asian Championships silver medallist MURODOV, 22, is a new name in the -81kg line-up for Baku 2018. The world number 91 has experience of four Grand Prix and three Grand Slam and will appreciate the scale of the challenge that awaits him on day four.
Komronshokh USTOPIRIYON -90kg
World number five USTOPIRIYON, 25, is a seven-time Grand Prix medallist and finished fifth at the Worlds in 2015. USTOPIRIYON is face of Tajikistan judo and is inspiration budding judoka through his IJF World Judo Tour exploits. The Rio 2016 Olympian won the Antalya Grand Prix in April and won bronze at the Asian Games in August.
Saidzhalol SAIDOV -100kg
Former Asian Championships bronze medallist SAIDOV, 27, will make his fifth appearance at the World Championships in Baku. The world number 44 has finished fifth at a Grand Prix on two occasions and has finished seventh at a Grand Prix on five occasions.
Shakarmamad MIRMAMADOV +100kg
Asian Games bronze medallist MIRMAMADOV, 21, campaigns for a second time at the IJF’s supershow. World number 73 MIRMAMADOV, who has made the increasingly popular move from -100kg to +100kg this year, surpassed seven-time Grand Slam medallist OJITANI Takeshi (JPN) for bronze in Jakarta.
Temur RAKHIMOV +100kg
Junior World Championships bronze medallist RAKHIMOV, 21, will be a new heavyweight contender to follow in Baku. The world number 72, who took silver at the Junior Asian Championships last year, made his Grand Slam debut in February in a losing effort against Benjamin FLETCHER (IRL) by Waza-Ari-awasete-ippon.
Essohanam Noeline KORO +78kg
KORO, 24, makes her second appearance at the Worlds following her introduction a year ago in Budapest. The emerging heavyweight was drawn against Iryna KINDZERSKA (AZE) who dominated the African judoka before pinning her down with a yoko-shiho-gatame for ippon.
Adebayo Frederic OLYMPIO -66kg
World number 264 OLYMPIO, 28, will make his second World Championships appearance in Baku. The Fitness Judo Club member lost out to Andraz JEREB (SLO) by ippon as the Togo fighter had to submit to a okuri-eri-jime strangle.
Sacha DENANYOH -81kg
Two-time World Championships DENANYOH, 38, last graced the World Championships in 2011. The London 2012 Olympian, who prides himself on his ippon-seoi-nage, retired in 2012 but came back in 2018 when he fought at the African Championships in April.
Meriem BJAOUI -63kg
African Championships gold medallist BJAOUI, 21, will fight at her second World Championships and first since 2014. The world number 33 lost out by ippon in 2014 against Rizlen ZOUAK (MAR) but is a more complete and more experienced judoka now and will expected to register a contest win in Baku.
Nihel CHEIKH ROUHOU +78kg
Openweight World Championships bronze medallist CHEIKH ROUHOU, 31, won the African Championships title in April. The uchi-mata specialist, who is ranked number 12 in the world, took silver at the Zagreb Grand Prix in July and won bronze at the Budapest Grand Prix in August.
Fraj DHOUIBI -60kg
African Championships silver medallist DHOUIBI, 27, finished fifth at the Düsseldorf Grand Slam in February. DHOUIBI fought at the World Championships in 2014 where he defeated Ali KHOUSROF (YEM) by ippon before suffering a narrow defeat against Yann SICCARDI (MON) on penalties. Abdelaziz BEN AMMAR -81kg
African Championships bronze medallist BEN AMMAR, 26, finished seventh at the Tunis Grand Prix in January. The world number 39 will make his third appearance at a World Championships and went 1:1 at the Worlds in 2014 and 2015.
Faicel JABALLAH +100kg
Former world bronze medallist JABALLAH, 30, has won Grand Prix and Grand Slam gold and will be a contender for Tunisia on day seven. The reigning African Championships gold medallist won his Worlds bronze in 2013 and is ranked number 22 in the world.
Gulkader SENTURK -48kg
Antalya Grand Prix bronze medallist SENTURK, 22, makes her Worlds debut in Baku. The world number 41, who is known for her tai-otoshi, is the latest -48kg talent off the Turkish production line in one of their strongest weight categories.
Irem KORKMAZ -52kg
Former Cadet World Championships bronze medallist KORKMAZ, 20, will be a fresh contender for Turkey at the World Championships. The world number 29 has finished fifth at the Tunis Grand Prix, European Championships and Agadir Grand Prix this year.
Busra KATIPOGLU -63kg
Antalya Grand Prix bronze medallist KATIPOGLU, 26, will make her third World Championships appearance after outings in 2011 and 2015 at the IJF’s showpiece event. The two-time Grand Slam bronze medallist, who is ranked number 42 in the world, won bronze in Baku last year at Azerbaijan’s Grand Slam.
Kayra SAYIT +78kg
Former European Championships gold medallist SAYIT, 30, finished fifth at the World Championships a year ago and will be a medal contender on day seven for Turkey. The world number 19 finished seventh at the European Championships and fifth at the
Bekir OZLU -60kg
Seven-time Grand Prix medallist OZLU, 30, will feature in his third World Championships for Turkey. The two-time Grand Prix winner, who is ranked number 15 in the world, took silver at the Agadir Grand Prix in March.
Ahmet Sahin KABA -60kg
Three-time Grand Prix medallist KABA, 25, will campaign at his fourth World Championships in Baku. The world number 61 finished fifth at the Minsk European Open in August.
Sinan SANDAL -66kg
Three-time Grand Prix bronze medallist SANDAL, 29, is a two-time World Championships participant and will hope that his third trip to the IJF World Judo Tour’s marquee event will be his most successful. The world number 28 is known for his tai-otoshi which he will aim to employ on day two.
Vedat ALBAYRAK -81kg
World number 15 ALBAYRAK, 25, has won two Grand Prix gold medals in 2018 and is in line to be in medal contention for Turkey. ALBAYRAK, who has previously represented Georgia and Greece, took silver at the Antalya Grand Prix in January in his first event for Turkey.
Ilker GULDUREN -81kg Multiple-time Turkish Championships gold medallist GULDUREN, 24, will make his second World Championships appearance for Turkey. The former Slovenian European Cup winner is ranked number 63 in the world.
Mikail OZERLER -90kg OZERLER, 24, was formerly known as Mihael ZGANK when he represented Slovenia for whom he took a silver medal a year ago. OZERLER makes his debut for Turkey in Baku and will not slip under the radar despite his name and team change.
Daria BILODID -48kg
Ukranian wonderkid BILODID, 17, has once left an international judo competition without a medal. That event was the World Championships in Budapest one year ago. BILOLDID has already won four IJF World Judo Tour events this year including Grand Slams in Paris and Düsseldorf. The teenager has also defeated defending world champion TONAKI Funa (JPN) twice in 2018.
Maryna CHERNIAK -48kg
World number 16 CHERNIAK, 30, has also excelled this year as Ukraine are now blessed with two world-class judoka at -48kg. CHERNIAK has won bronze at the European Championships and the Paris Grand Slam as well as the Tunis Grand Prix in 2018.
Mariia SKORA -57kg
Former Bratislava European Cup winner SKORA, 21, is another young contender in the Ukrainian ranks. SKORA, who is known for her ippon-seoi-nage, is ranked world number 107 but will gradually improve on that as she hunts down a place in the top 18 to qualify for Tokyo 2020.
Nataliya SMAL -70kg
Former Grand Prix silver medallist SMAL, 35, is a highly-experienced veteran as her age would suggest but finds herself down at number 177 on the IJF World Ranking List. SMAL earned her solitary Grand Prix medal in Amsterdam in 2011 and will be hoping for one last rally on the IJF World Judo Tour.
Yelyzaveta KALANINA +78kg
Former volleyball player KALANINA, 23, has all the tools to be a formidable fighter in the +78kg category. World number 10 KALANINA has the frame, raw talent and is young enough to continue developing in this Olympic cycle and could producing something special in the coming years.
Galyna TARASOVA +78kg
Two-time Grand Prix bronze medallist TARASOVA, 25, has a ranking that exactly matches her age. The ippon-seoi-nage expert has won bronze medals in 2018 at Grand Prix in Antalya and Tunis and is yet another Ukrainian judoka who is enjoying a breakout year on the international stage.
Artem LESYUK -60kg
Sofia European Open bronze medallist LESYUK, 21, is ranked number 58 in the world and is still at an early stage of his switch from junior to senior judo. LESYUK finished fifth at the European Championships and seventh at the Zagreb Grand Prix last time out.
Georgii ZANTARAIA -66kg
King of the highlight reels ZANTARAIA, 30, is one of the most exciting judoka in the history of the sport. The 2009 world champion moves like a cat, throws like a baseball pitcher and has the longevity of a god; as the god of Ukrainian judo. The world number nine took silver at the Zagreb Grand Prix in July.
Bogdan IADOV -66kg
Budapest Grand Prix bronze medallist IADOV, 21, is a fast-rising youngster with a big future in the sport. The Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games silver medallist, who is ranked number 49 in the world, will hope that some of the magic that his teammate ZANTARAIA possesses will rub off on him in Baku.
Artem KHOMULA -73kg
World number 47 KHOMULA, 23, took silver at the Prague European Open in March. KHOMULA finished seventh at the European Championships in April and would probably settle for the same result at this stage of his career at the World Championships.
Quedjau NHABALI -90kg
Agadir Grand Prix bronze medallist NHABALI, 28, won the Junior World Championships in Paris in 2009. The uchi-mata man is ranked number 46 in the world and is arguably a better athlete than his ranking suggests.
Anton SAVYTSKIY -100kg
Former Junior World Championships bronze medallist SAVYTSKIY, 22, is best known on the IJF World Judo Tour for his bronze medal win at the Budapest Grand Prix in 2016. SAVYTSKIY won the European Youth Olympic Festival in 2011 and is now ranked number 52 in the world.
Danylo HUTSOL -100kg
Minsk European open bronze medallist HUTSOL, 21, is a durable fighter in the -100kg division. The world number 65 almost opened his IJF World Judo Tour medal account at the Zagreb Grand Prix but lost his bronze medal contest to finish in fifth-place.
Oleksandr GORDIIENKO +100kg
World number 23 GORDIIENKO, 27, has made a big impression on the IJF World Judo Tour this year. The uchi-mata technician won the Tunis Grand Prix in January and took bronze at the Agadir Grand Prix in March to catapult himself up the IJF World Ranking List.
Yakiv KHAMMO +100kg
Former World Championships bronze medallist KHAMMO, 24, is a top-draw heavyweight on his best day. KHAMMO knows his way to the top of the podium in Baku having won the country’s Grand Slam in 2016 and could make a strong bid for a return to the World Championships podium on day seven.
United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Victor SCVORTOV -73kg Former world bronze medallist SCVORTOV, 30, is a highly-regarded judoka in the -73kg category. World number 20 SCVORTOV won won his country’s first Worlds medal in 2014 and has been a consistent judoka on the IJF World Judo Tour since then for the U.A.E.
Mihail MARCHITAN -90kg
World number 40 MARCHITAN, 23, has won two medals at the European Open level this year and is clearly a talented young judoka. MARCHITAN finished fifth at the Ekaterinburg Grand Slam in March and will surely grace an IJF medal podium in the near future.
Ivan REMARENCO -100kg
Former World Championships bronze medallist REMARENCO, 30, is an IJF World Judo Tour veteran. World number 27 REMARENCO finished fifth at the Asian Games in August and if he is motivated and in the zone he can topple almost any judoka in the weight category.
United States of America (USA)
Anne SUZUKI -48kg
SUZUKI, 34, won bronze at the Pan American Open earlier this month and will feature on day one in Baku for the USA. The world number 56 won bronze at the Taipei Asian Open last year and will hope to exceed expectations in the stacked -48kg category.
Katelyn JARRELL -48kg
Cancun Grand Prix bronze medallist JARRELL (née BOUYSSOU) first gained notoriety by winning the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games. The 24-year-old, who is ranked number 58 in the world, trains out of Mayo Quanchi in Coventry which is owned by her father Serge BOUYSSOU.
Angelica DELGADO -52kg
World number 11 DELGADO, 27, has matured into being a key performer for her country. The former Abu Dhabi Grand Slam runner-up won bronze at the Zagreb Grand Prix in July and should not be underestimated on day two.
Amelia FULGENTES -57kg
Santiago Pan American Open gold medallist FULGENTES, 25, will supplement her country’s offering on day three. The world number 49 finished seventh at the Cancun Grand Prix which still stands as her best result on the IJF World Judo Tour.
Leilani AKIYAMA -57kg
Former Lima Pan American Open silver medallist AKIYAMA, 31, will be looking for a strong showing on day three. The world number 53 has Tokyo 2020 on her mind and needs to pick up points towards qualification by winning contests and will aim to go on a run in Baku towards the final block.
Hannah MARTIN -63kg
Four-time Grand Prix medallist MARTIN, 30, is working towards a first medal of the season and will be dreaming of podium place in Baku. The world number 29 finished seventh at the Madrid European Open last time out and could leave her mark on the -63kg category on day four.
Alisha GALLES -63kg
Pan American Open gold medallist GALLES, 23, is tasked with trying to emulate her favourable Pan American results in Europe. World number 64 GALLES is a regular medallist on her home continent but has not travelled well on the IJF World Judo Tour to date but that could all change in a new-look USA team.
Chantal WRIGHT -70kg
Pan American Open silver medallist WRIGHT, 25, finished seventh at the Agadir Grand Prix in March on IJF duty. World number 50 WRIGHT, who has a thunderous osoto-gari, made the move from Switzerland to USA in 2014 and is steadily progressing on the international stage.
Nina CUTRO-KELLY +78kg
USA Championships gold medallist CUTRO-KELLY, 33, is a stalwart of her national team. The three-time Pan American Championships bronze medallist, who is ranked number 31 in the world, will aim to utilise her powerful harai-goshi on day seven.
Adonis DIAZ -60kg
World number 17 DIAZ, 22, is an exceptional young fighter making a name for himself on the IJF World Judo Tour. DIAZ has enjoyed a breakout year in 2018 with bronze medals at Grand Prix events in Antalya and Zagreb in addition to the Pan American Championships.
Ryan VARGAS -66kg
Pan American Championships bronze medallist VARGAS, 20, has caught the eye on the IJF World Judo Tour with his sublime ne-waza skills. The gap between VARGAS and the world’s elite is decreasing as he continues to ply his trade with a desire for honours and a willingness to learn and come back stronger after every event.
Alexander TURNER -73kg
Cancun Grand Prix bronze medallist TURNER, 25, is a member of Jason Morris’ Judo Centre in New York. The world number 28, who has a polished ippon-seoi-nage, is coming through at the right time to make a major bid for Tokyo 2020 qualification.
Nicholas DELPOPOLO -73kg
Two-time Olympian DELPOPOLO, 29, is in the frame for a third consecutive Olympic Games. The three-time Grand Prix medallist, who is ranked number 38 in the world, earned his last IJF medal in 2016 when he took silver at the Qingdao Grand Prix.
Jack HATTON -81kg
Antalya Grand Prix silver medallist HATTON, 22, has picked up a brace of IJF World Judo Tour medals over the last year to skyrocket up the rankings. The USA Championships gold medallist won bronze at the Zagreb Grand Prix last year and now finds himself ranked number 20 in the world.
Colton BROWN -90kg
Former Miami Grand Prix bronze medallist BROWN, 26, is regularly in contention for honours on the IJF World Judo Tour. The world number 26, who has a must-see sasae-tsurikomi-ashi, took silver at the Pan American Open earlier this month.
Matthew KOCH -90kg
Former Pan American Open gold medallist KOCH, 23, will campaign for USA at -90kg in Baku. The world number 87 has it all to do in a star-studded weight category but will savour every second on the tatami in Baku and use it to build towards what he hopes will be a prosperous run-up to Tokyo 2020.
L.A. SMITH III -100kg
Pan American Championships bronze medallist SMITH, 23, will be the penultimate male judoka from the USA to compete in Baku. The uchi-mata specialist, who is ranked number 46 in the world, is edging closer to a first IJF World Judo Tour medal and his performance in Azerbaijan will be a good barometer of where he sits at this key stage of the Olympic cycle.
Ajax TADEHARA +100kg
Taipei Asian Open silver medallist TADEHARA, 29, has won medals in Asia, Pan American and Oceania but never in Europe. The world number 70 may be the one man who believes that elusive medal can be attained in Baku but will surely give a good account of himself on day seven.
Alain APRAHAMIAN -81kg
APRAHAMIAN, 30, will make his fifth appearance at a World Championships in Baku. The world number 144 finished fifth at the South American Championships in June and will be going for broke in the -81kg category on day four.
Marjona SALOKHITDINOVA -48kg
Tashkent Junior Asian Cup silver medallist SALOKHITDINOVA, 19, makes her IJF World Judo Tour debut in the biggest stage possible in Baku. The teenager lost her opening contest at Minsk European Open in August in her first international assignment at the senior level.
Gulnoza ZIYAEVA -52kg
Former Junior Asian Cup gold medallist ZIYAEVA, 23, finished fifth on the biggest stage of her career at the Asian Games in August. The world number 85 will consider herself a potential spoiler on day two in the -52kg category.
Amina MAMEDOVA -57kg
Former Junior Asian Cup silver medallist MAMEDOVA, 21, has not been in action this year. The youngster finished fifth last year at the Junior Asian Championships and will aim to avoid a rough return to competition on the grandest stage of the IJF World Judo Tour.
Gulnoza MATNIYAZOVA -70kg
Two-time Grand Prix winner MATNIYAZOVA, 24, is the leading female judoka from Uzbekistan. MATNIYAZOVA has topped the podium at her home Grand Prix in Tashkent on two occasions and knows her way around the IJF World Judo Tour which is also illustrated by her seventh place at the Worlds in 2014.
Shokhida NAZAROVA -70kg
Former Uzbekistan Championships gold medallist NAZAROVA, 29, has been included in her country’s Worlds delegation for the first time. NAZAROVA finished fifth at the Tashkent Grand Prix in her best performance on the IJF World Judo Tour.
Nodira YULDASHEVA -78kg
Junior Asian Championships gold medallist YULDASHEVA, 20, makes her Worlds debut in Baku. The world number 66 finished fifth at the Asian Games in August and could make a name for herself in the early rounds in the -78kg category on day six.
Sharafuddin LUTFILLAEV -60kg
World number eight LUTFILLAEV, 28, is a star performer on the IJF World Judo Tour. The Uzbek ace is an 11-time Grand Prix medallist and has been tipped to mount a major medal challenge on the opening day having gone 1:1 at his only Worlds in 2015.
Sardor NURILLAEV -66kg
Former Tashkent Grand Prix bronze medallist NURILLAEV, 23, went 1:1 on his Worlds debut a year ago as he won one contest by ippon and lost one by the same score. The ippon-seoi-nage technician, who is ranked number 39 in the world, will aim for honours on day two.
Giyosjon BOBOEV -73kg
World number 12 BOBOEV, 25, has captured four Grand Prix medals and a couple of Grand Slam medals for Uzbekistan. The ashi-waza marksman finished seventh at the Asia Games in August and will hope for a better day at this second World Championships.
Khikmatillokh TURAEV -73kg
Tashkent Grand Prix bronze medallist TURAEV, 23, will fancy his chances of causing an upset or two in Baku. TURAEV won the Minsk European Open in August and will be something of an unknown quantity on his Worlds debut.
Sharofiddin BOLTABOEV -81kg
Tashkent Grand Prix bronze medallist BOLTABOEV, 22, starts at a World Championships for the second time in his career. The world number 47, who is known for his tomoe-nage, finished fifth at the Junior World Championships in 2014.
Davlat BOBONOV -90kg
Former Tashkent Grand Prix gold medallist BOBONOV, 21, made his presence felt on his World Championships debut a year ago as he finished seventh at Budapest 2017. The former Junior Asian Championships winner will be looking to power up on day five with his trademark ura-nage.
Sherali JURAEV -100kg
Asian Games bronze medallist JURAEV, 31, breathed new life into his career by medalling at his continent’s famed multi-sport event in August. The world number 34 won bronze at the Tashkent Grand Prix last year and will be looking to go toe-to-toe with any judoka who is put in front of him in Baku.
Mukhammadkarim KHURRAMOV -100kg
Asian Championships bronze medallist KHURRAMOV, 21, makes his Worlds bow for Uzbekistan on day six. The world number 107, who has noted throwing skills including a thumping ura-nage, won a bronze medal at his home Grand Prix in 2016.
Bekmurod OLTIBOEV +100kg
Asian Games bronze medallist OLTIBOEV, 22, is proving to be a high-quality addition to the heavyweight landscape. The world number 26 moved up from -100kg last year and has exceeded expectations in the +100kg category. OLTIBOEV won bronze at the Hohhot Grand Prix in the first Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualification event.
Wisneybi MACHADO -57kg
Pan American Open gold medallist MACHADO, 24, will compete in her third World Championships and first since 2014. The world number 68 is not as well-known as her teammates but will aiming to catch up with them by starring in Baku.
Elvismar RODRIGUEZ -70kg
Former world number one RODRIGUEZ, 21, will compete at her third World Championships in Azerbaijan. The Tokai University student has won five Grand Prix medals and as many Grand Slam medals and is poised to put forward her strongest case yet for Worlds honours as she leads the way for Venezuela.
Karen LEON -78kg
World number 24 LEON, 20, won bronze at the Cancun Grand Prix last year to grace an IJF medal podium for the first time. The Venezuelan youngster took silver at the Pan American Championships in April and will be worth following on day six in Baku.
Pedro PINEDA +100kg
World number 68 PINEDA, 25, won gold at the Pan American Open at the beginning of the month and will be aiming to keep his momentum going in Baku. PINEDA will be making his third appearance at a World Championships and will be the final athlete to compete from Venezuela.
Tinh HOANG THI -48kg
World number 161 HOANG THI, 24, will be first up for Vietnam on day one. The Asian Games participant, who has a strong seoi-nage, competes at the Worlds for the second time after suffering a first round exit at Budapest 2017.
Thuy NGUYEN -52kg
Taipei Asian Open bronze medallist NGUYEN, 24, made a spirited World Championships debut a year in Hungary. The world number 97 was narrowly edged out in the opening round on penalties and makes an immediate return for her second instalment of the crown jewel of the IJF World Judo Tour.
Ali KHOUSROF -60kg
Former Cadet Asian Championships gold medallist KHOUSROF, 26, is set for his fourth World Championships and first since 2014. The world number 278, who represented his country at the London 2012 Olympics, leads a three-man Yemen team into action in Baku.
Mohammed SALEM -66kg
IJF World Judo Tour newcomer SALEM, 18, made his international debut at the Asian Games in August. The teenager lost out to HUANG Sheng-Ting (TPE) by ippon in round one but was not overawed by the occasion which will help him as he prepares to meet the world’s elite in Baku.
Ahmed AYASH -73kg
World number 173 AYASH, 24, recorded a contest win at the Asian Games in August as he defeated Panhga Wath SUN (CAM) in round one by ippon. The outcome was reversed against Giyosjon BOBOEV (UZB) but AYASH has something to build on and look back on as he plots contest wins on the IJF World Judo Tour.
Mathews PUNZA -66kg
PUNZA, 30, will make his seventh appearance at the Worlds for Zambia. The African stalwart has flown his country’s flag with pride for well over a decade on the international stage and will give only his best for Zambia on day two in Baku.
Andrew KASWANGA -81kg
KASWANGA, 20, who trains at Father Jude Makena Club, is ranked number 268 in the world. The Zambian judoka arrived on the Worlds stage for the first time a year ago in the Hungarian capital where he was eliminated by Juan Diego TURCIOS (ESA) by ippon.
Lazarus ARUFANDIKA -60kg
ARUFANDIKA, 24, will compete at the World Championships for the second time in his career. The Zimbabwe judoka returns to the most famous stage on the IJF World Judo Tour for the first time since 2013 when he lost his first contest in Rio de Janeiro to Ahmet Sahin KABA (TUR).
Brian CHIMINYA -66kg
CHIMINYA, 21, will campaign at the Worlds for the second time. The little-known -66kg judoka went out to Ayoub ELIDRISSI (QAT) a year ago by ippon from a uchi-mata and will be hoping for a longer day this time around at Baku 2018.
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