In Baku, just two weeks ago, eighteen year old Tara Babulfath (SWE) showed composure usually attributed to those with a decade of high level experience, those with world medals hanging in their cabinets at home. She worked with humility, self-control and commitment to come through the -48 kg category and stand under her flag on the top of the podium.
Baku Grand Slam gold medallist Tara Babulfath (SWE).


“I know I have a lot of years ahead and so I have nothing to lose. I can only give all I have, there is nothing more than that. I put a lot of time into my training and have a good team supporting me no matter the result and so I don’t really feel pressure too much.”

No pressure to be detected on Tara's face as she walked towards her first grand slam final.


“My goal when I arrived at the end of cadets, coming into this year, was to straight away get to the Olympics. When I was little I used to write in the steam of my bathroom ‘2024 Olympic Games,’ so this medal in Baku makes me very happy; it’s taking me towards that goal.

It was exactly ten years ago that I started judo but I had done wrestling before that. Since I was small I wanted to be Olympic champion, since I first knew what the Olympics was, and when I switched to judo I really knew this would be my sport and I would go to the Olympics in a judogi.”


“Right now I am living my dream. I was in Paris for 6 weeks and then went to Baku ahead of moving directly to Tashkent. Then it’s on to train in Japan before competing in Antalya. Then there’s Valencia and the senior Europeans. I don’t often go home in between. All of these are back to back. I live in Stockholm with my family, my parents and 3 younger siblings. One of my sisters also does judo and I hope we can travel together in the future. We have similar dreams and goals.”

Beating Nikolic in the Baku -48 kg final.

With the 1000 point prize she pocketed in Azerbaijan, Tara has moved up to 26th on the clean Olympic ranking list and is just inside qualification. Her dream may come true after all! Nothing is confirmed, a lot is still undecided but Tara Babulfath is making her bid for Paris, without pressure, with just training, a support team and a set of goals.

Swedish National Coach Jane Bridge, 1980 world champion, matside with Tara Babulfath in Baku.
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