Mr Franco Capelletti, the Chairman of the IJF Kata Commission and IJF tenth dan, highlighted the high level of the competition: “It is a very beautiful judo event here in Lisbon. The technical level of all participants is great. We have more than 100 pairs taking part, which is a great result for our event. We are working hard together to make kata events more exciting for the audience and we are hoping to see even more participants in the future.”
Another important event happened on the podium of #JudoKata today. IJF Education and Coaching Director, Mr Mohamed Meridja awarded the President of the Portuguese Judo Federation, Mr Jorge Oliveira Fernandes, with the IJF golden plaque.
Mr Meridja commented: “The organisation of the World Veterans and Kata Championships was set on a very high level here. The Portuguese Judo Federation ensured that everything was very smooth, starting from the competition venue to the logistics of the event. They are ready to host even bigger international events and we are very thankful to the President of PJF, Mr Fernandes.”
Home favourite and silver medalist in Katame-no-kata juniors, Joao Baptista commented, “It is my first medal at a major judo event and I am very happy. I am especially happy to be winning this medal at home. Thanks to all my friends, coaches and family who supported me this whole time.”
Victoria Kraska (FRA), gold medallist in Katame-no-kata juniors, declared: "With my partner, Dylan Meddour, we are very happy for having won two titles in two different categories (day one with Nage-no-kata) and we are proud for all the efforts we put in this. We are grateful to our coaches and our families who supported us.”
Whilst IJF Kata commission director, Daniel De Angelis, explained, "It is clear that Japan remains the reference in terms of kata but it is very interesting to note that more and more countries are reaching the top. The gaps between all the nations is getting smaller and that is very good. After day one, we were already pleased with the level of the juniors. This was definitely confirmed today. Many countries were interested to bring more young kata specialists next year, because this is now a fact, we will continue developing that age category. I want once again to underline the perfect organisation provided by the Portuguese Federation. They did an outstanding work to deliver a perfect event."
Michel Huet Kata Commission Coordination Director, added, "It is significant enough to underline the performance of the French junior pair, Victoria Kraska and Dylan Meddour, who won both junior categories that were engaged for the first time during this Kata World Championships. In total we had 24 countries and 11 of them won a medal. Even if some countries could not come due to the travel restrictions, we are happy with the results. The host country, Portugal, won two medals and showed that they took this competition seriously. This is very interesting for the future of kata and for the development of the discipline throughout the world."
We are on the eve of the World Judo Day. Throughout the year, top level judoka have performed incredible results. We have witnessed outstanding World Judo Tour event, world championships and Olympic Games in Tokyo despite the pandemic situation. The cadets, the juniors, and more recently the veterans and now the kata specialists have proven that judo is alive and is capable of producing the best judo.
Throughout the difficult time of the pandemic, the judo values have been at the center of the attention of the whole judo family. For the last two days, kata have been the catalysis of an amazing chemical reaction which brings people together for the better.
As Solidarity was chosen as the theme of the World Judo Day this year, we can assure that all the Kata World Championships participants have shown commitment, dedication and ultimately solidarity throughout the competition.
Athletes who couldn't travel with their weapons to participate in the competition for instance, saw other competitors borrowing theirs. We witnessed also the incredible story of Tony Walby from Canada. This is solidarity. This is judo. Congratulations to all of athletes, congratulations to the winners and happy World Judo Day to the entire judo family!
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