Among the judo experts present in Antalya is Akinobu Osako Sensei, in Turkiye as a member of the team of Referee Supervisors officiating during the three days of competition.

Himself an Olympic medallist, a Tournoi de Paris medallist and an Olympic referee, in both London 2012 and Rio 2016, he has immense experience and is the perfect support for the referees out on the tatami. For day 3 in Antalya, the technical analysis is his.

“Today has been very strong. I was able to see competitors in all weights and all categories brought dynamic and powerful judo."

Strong grips have Van T End (NED) a head start in each contest on his way to gold

"With the rules, athletes have to grip, it’s obligatory. This provides many chances for attacks and they bring dynamic scores from a wide range of techniques. With no grip there is no way to make a good attack, both hands being engaged is the only way to ensure the proper foundation is laid for the best attacks and so today, with positive gripping in place, there were many attractive ippon finishes.

Zabic (SRB) used a good seoi-nage twice to progress towards the final at +78kg. She moved well, especially as a much lighter competitor within the heavyweight women’s category.

Zabic (SRB)

In years gone by the heavyweights have often been slow and with reluctant or static kumi-kata but now we see faster attacks coming from a broader range of gripping strategies and ones which can lead directly into throwing techniques.

Roy Meyer (NED), +100kg

We see more athletes giving attention to their ne-waza. In the past many have not used technique as much as power but this part of our judo has evolved and now we see sankaku, yoko-shiho-gatame, a very wide variety actually. Now we see the use of the legs and not just a reliance on the weight of the body. This is a very positive improvement and I believe the evolution will only continue, with ne-waza exchanges becoming more and more important in the future.

Hamada (JPN) working in ne-waza

One more note about today’s judo is that in other categories everyone is almost the same weight but in the two heavyweight groups we can see 20 or 30kg or even more difference and this has a big effect on strategies. Smaller athletes here have shown good movement and the ability to attack in many ways, fighting against the tactics of heavier athletes. The final of the +78kg category is interesting in this way.

Now there is a short time, just over a month, for athletes to make final preparations and it is essential to stay in good condition and look after their health, especially in this period. They have time to prepare more detailed analyses of their techniques so that the best will be on display. Motivation will be up and energy too and so with good conditioning and an attention to the right techniques we can look forward to good judo at the forthcoming world championships.”

See also