The coaches of the World Judo Tour see everything. They fulfil their duties not just by working with their own athletes but by studying the opposition, acknowledging trends, learning the rules and regulations and communicating with all other people involved in the sport. As we said, they see everything! So, who better to ask about the most impressive performances of the first two days of #JudoZagreb?

Christodoulos Christodoulides (CYP)

“I have to say the Brazilian, Willian Lima, specifically in the semi-final against my athlete, Balarjishvili. We have met him many times, playing judo with him and he never did these techniques; we weren’t ready for the hips. He changed the fight and it was huge, really caught us by surprise.”

Raffaele Toniolo (ITA)

“Svidrak from Ukraine, -81 kg bronze on day 2. I saw him for the first time when he won silver in Linz and then here he was 3rd. He is young but a really good athlete, impressive, fast for the category and has a really strong makikomi."

Svidrak's makikomi.

Adrian Croitoru (MAR)

"Straight away I can say Dris (ALG). I saw him at the Arabian Championships and at the World Judo Masters and see that he has good technique and also a great feeling for judo. Here in Zagreb he was mentally very strong and in the fight with Gjakova (KOS) he had to face a very physical challenge, a kind of power that was difficult to fight against, but judo won!"

Dris in action in Croatia.

Andrea Berti (BRA)

"Iraoui (MAR) is my pick of the tournament so far. I didn’t expect to see this new way that she fights, very good. She has a good range of different techniques and applies them in different directions; a big surprise for me."

Soumiya Iraoui (MAR)

Colin Oates (GBR)

"I really like the Cypriot judoka, Balarjishvili. He is total, goes after every exchange, really chasing the big judo. He switches between both sides, has big hip throws, makes great contact and commits to everything. With him it seems like every exchange is the last!"

Balarjishvili in Zagreb.

Jhonny Prado (USA)

"The Dominican athlete, Del Orbe Cortorreal, was very impressive yesterday, he had a really good day. He brought great intensity and is getting better and better. He faced Muki, a world champion, without fear. He has good technique in general and we can all appreciate the beauty of technique."

On day 3 the coaches’ outlook will be just as broad and no matter what they see, they will take it all home to use in preparation for the next events.

See also