At the end of day 3 at the IJF Worlds in Tokyo, the medalists of day 3 of competitions gathered in the press conference room for their chat with the media covering the event.

Men’s -73kg

Gold: Shohei Ono (JPN)

Silver: Rustam Orujev (AZE)

Bronze: Denis Iartcev (RUS)

Bronze: Hidayat Heydarov (AZE)

Women’s -57kg

Gold: Christa Deguchi (CAN)

Silver: Tsukasa Yoshida (JPN)

Bronze: Rafaela Silva (BRA)

Bronze: Julia Kowalczyk (POL)

“I have no words," said Christa Deguchi, who won Canada’s first Senior World Championship gold. "I’m just amazed. I was not really expecting to win.” She had a special fan sidelined at the tatami. Her father is a press photographer working at this World Championship. “When I compete in Japan he is always there. That makes me comfortable. He’s like my guardian angel.”

Her male counterpart winning the gold was pretty straightforward. In stark contrast Ono said “I knew I was going to win. There was no alternative for me. I had my mind set on the gold.” And he surely did, adding a third World title to his name. The gold medalist was indeed untouchable in every bout.

Women's -57kg medal podium

Similar to day 2, the women’s semi-final on day 3 was also a head-on-collision between two titans, i.e. Olympic Champion Rafaela Silva vs. World Champion Tsukasa Yoshida.

“My desire was to win against the Olympic Champion today, but my wish did not come true,” said Yoshida. “I’m sad I could not prolong my World title but also happy I won a bronze medal after all.”

Triple World Champion (2013, 2015 & 2019) Shohei Ono (JPN)

“I prepared well for this World Championship,” said Silva. “Fighting against a World Champion betters my judo. My weight category is a hard one to excel in, it’s stacked with plenty of strong athletes.”

“I’m beyond happy,” commented bronze medal winner Julia Kowalczyk. “It feels unreal to me right know. I need some time to let it sink in.”

“Although I lost in the final, I’m happy going home with a medal. I’m tired today but will be prepared again for next competitions,” said Rustam Orujev. The bout between him and Ono was a repeat of the 2016 Olympic final in Rio. “I was prepared. Ono is a strong athlete. After several fights against him I could not win yet. Hopefully in the future I can change that.” Ono confirms. “We’ve been competing against each other since the junior level. I’m happy this rivalry keeps me sharp. I hope we continue to face each other in big finals.”

Men's -73kg medal podium

“This is my first medal at a top competition,” Denis Iartcev said. “I’m really happy. I’ll do my best that this will not be the last one,” he smiles. “In the semi-final I lost against Ono. I was of course hoping for a victory, I did once beat him, but we need more fights to decide who is the best of the two of us,” he jokes.

“Congrats to all,” said a delighted Hidayat Heydarov who repeated his 2018 bronze on home soil in Baku. “It’s my first time in Tokyo and I’m very happy winning the bronze medal in the legendary Budokan.”

See also
Tel Aviv Grand Prix, the Draw
Serious Business

22. Jan. 2020 / And so it begins! The first draw of the first tournament ...

Tel Aviv: Who is Leading The Charge?

22. Jan. 2020 / It’s time, not just for the IJF World Tour, but specifically ...

Relive An Changrim's world title win

22. Jan. 2020 / Relive An Changrim's 2018 world title win! The South ...

A Look Ahead
The Promised Year

21. Jan. 2020 / It is a promised year because it is an Olympic one. ...

Tel Aviv GP Preview
5 Things To Look Out For at #JudoTelAviv

21. Jan. 2020 / The opening event of the season sees a return to Israel ...

#JudoTelAviv 2020 Promo

08. Jan. 2020 / Watch the season-opening Tel Aviv Grand Prix from 23-25 ...

Breaking News: In 2021, Central Asia will be home to the best of Judo
World Senior Championships 2021 to be held in Tashkent Uzbekistan

15. Jan. 2020 / In 2021, Central Asia will be home to the best of Judo. On ...

President Vizer promotes judo family values during visit to Uzbekistan

16. Jan. 2020 / IJF President Mr. Marius L.

Refereeing Rules
Clarifications on the Refereeing Rules

18. Jan. 2020 / Following the well attended and collaborative Refereeing ...

Refereeing Sport and Education Seminar, Doha - Day 2
Efficiency, Education and Equity

12. Jan. 2020 / General Secretary of the IJF Mr Jean-Luc Rouge opened ...

Refereeing Sport and Education Seminar - Doha 2020
We Must Walk The Same Line

11. Jan. 2020 / This morning began with buses filling up with world ...

Japanese Judo legend Yasuhiro Yamashita elected as member of the International Olympic Committee
The Japanese Gentleman

10. Jan. 2020 / Judo Olympic Gold Medallist and Four-time World Champion ...

Judo for the World
Judo connects Buseira with the World

03. Jan. 2020 / Imagine an isolated hamlet several hours from the capital ...

Shishime Ai (JPN)

08. Jun. 2018 / The next reigning world champion to be invited to answer ...

5 Key Takeaways from judo’s first Tokyo 2020 qualifier

06. Jun. 2018 / Highlights from Hohhot Grand Prix 2018

Judo for the World in Iran

07. Jun. 2018 / In April 2018, the International Judo Federation and ...

JUDO: A Beneficial Cause

07. Jun. 2018 / 'Society should believe in sport as a beneficial cause ...