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YEAR 2021 | VOLUME 01 | COST € 2,95


EURO 2021 LISBON Trends and Records

TEDDY RINER Olympic Games Represent A Symbol

DECISION TIME Qualification Storm For Tokyo



The Inside Stories



FOREWORD JudoInside.com launches new design and magazine JudoInside is always on the move. We’re proud to present JudoInsideMAGAZINE. The magazine with Judo Intelligence. Although you were aware that your number one online source is your best intel about the world of judo. It is an additional value to have the best stories at your fingertips.

With the introduction of the magazine, our ambitions won’t end. In fact we have just launched our new website design, which I am sure, you have explored recently. Hundred days in advance of the Olympic Judo tournament in Tokyo and the start of the European Championships in Lisbon, there couldn’t be a better day then launching the new design of JudoInside. Fans around the world use the world’s largest judo database every day and with the forthcoming major events it is time for a new design where mobile function, refreshing stats and fewer advertisements will be the key to JudoInside 2021. I am pleased with the new looks after a period of six months preparation as well as the launch of the magazine in this Olympic year. As Eurosport commentator and former Judo Media Director I was able to visit countless judo events starting at the 1992 Games where judo data was kind of new. Years later sports data in general was used as key asset on analysis of athletes and especially the competitors. Since 2002 JudoInside.com was introduced online but I was maintaining a judo database since the early nineties. Since 2014 I try to bring the hottest news, including news that Federations won’t necessarily bring, but fans must be informed on good and bad things. Judo deserves a news site with the best available data.

However they also deserve a platform that works well with a fresh looks, who doesn’t want a fresh look after the corona period. Hopefully judo comes back strongly in each country and every judo fan can enjoy JudoInside as their number one channel. More gadgets will be added to the site before the Games, but this is a great day to launch it and we look forward to getting reactions via our social media. I would like to thank everyone who contributed to JudoInside with photos, videos, news and scoops, with ideas, with design, with everything that makes JudoInside so special for judo fans. We have a huge network of people that keep me sharp and send us their results and additions. Keep doing that and Stay Inside each day as we deliver some good content towards the Olympic Games and beyond.

The new website of JudoInside - www.judoinside.com





Boukli, Verstraeten, Pacut, Monteiro




Huge thanks to all contributing photographers for this edition: Christian Fidler (AUT), Oliver Sellner (AUT), Klaus Mueller (GER), Hans van Essen (NED), Carlos Alberto Matos (POR), João Gregório (POR), Rafal Burza (CAN). With special thanks to the Portuguese Judo Federation for the cooperation in regard to editorial content.


Willems, Boehler, Van Snick



Grol, Van Dijke, Bekauri





Toshiko Koga, Henri Courtine, Nicola Tempesta, Fanny Malmborg


Giulia Quintavalle

BUDAPEST WORLD WC Budapest, Deguchi vs Klimkait, Japan Team



JudoInside Partners for this edition: JudoCrazy.com, online publisher of sticky judo content; JudoHeroes, our online creative graphics designer from Belgium with a heart for judo; L’Esprit de Judo, the world famous French Judo Magazine and portal.

© Copyright 2021 JudoInside,


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All Rights Reserved.

Teddy Riner


Hans van Essen Andre de Heus / ADH Sportfoto


Ebinuma, Conway, Zupancic, Taeymans, Unterwurzacher


Hans van Essen / JudoInside

JudoInsideMGZ Nr. 1 - May 2021


Judo news from Israel, North Korea, France, Japan



JudoInsideMAGAZINE is a digital edition and produced in close cooperation with ADH Sportfoto.

European Championships Lisbon, Filzmozer




SUBJECT TO RIGHTS No content of this issue of JudoInsideMAGAZINE may be copied or reproduced in any form, or in any other way, whether digitally or in print, without prior written permission by JudoInside. LIABILITY While JudoInside has endeavored to ensure that all information provided in this Magazine is accurate and has been carefully compiled to the best of our knowledge. JudoInside and designer takes no responsibility for any error or omission relating to this information. JudoInside and designer are not liable for any cost, loss or damage suffered by you through your use of this Magazine.


The heavyweight of the lightweights By L’Esprit du Judo

The French Judo Federation announced the selection for the Olympic Games. Larbi Benboudaoud put an end to the suspense very quickly. The tension was in the U70kg and U48kg category. U70kg was eventually decided after the Europeans and Shirine Boukli was chosen to represent the French in Tokyo. Lesprit du Judo analysed the choice.

Convincing The choice of the U48kg was not certain but probable. A probability that has become a certainty, as Shirine Boukli has succeeded over the past few months in gradually establishing herself as the almost obvious choice. With her victory at the Grand Slam in Düsseldorf in February 2020, beating the Japanese double viceworld champion Funa Tonaki in the final. By the fact, also, that confinement had no hold on a meteoric trajectory started at the 2019 world junior championships (she had finished in silver) since she became European champion last November in Prague. Then finally won her second Grand Slam, this time beating the double world champion Daria Bilodid convincingly.

Shirine Boukli - U48kg

since she became European champion last November in Prague. Then finally won her second Grand Slam, this time beating the double world champion Daria Bilodid convincingly.

Benboudaoud Decisive and significant milestones included a continental title, two Grand Slam victories and simply blasted away all previous results that the consistent Mélanie Clément showed since early 2018. Clement is 7th on the world ranking-list but never came higher than place 4. Clément was selected for the World Championships in Budapest. The choice for Boukli was justified by Larbi Benboudaoud: "We had to decide, on the basis of all the elements at our disposal. This additional year following the postponement of the Games to 2021 will have been beneficial to Shirine, who tumbled like a rocket. And we're not going to complain about it. It also shows that everything is not just a mathematical affair, and that we did not only stop at the ranking.

Shirine Boukli shines with gold



BEATA PACUT The backgrounds of Beata Pacut’s European gold medal By Krzysztof Wilkomirski and JudoInside

Polish judoka Beata Pacut set a unique European title after defeating Dutch former world number one Guusje Steenhuis in the final U78kg. Pacut captured the title as first Polish woman since Adriana Daci in 2002. Her coach Robert Krawczyk was the last European Champion for Poland in 2007. The whole day was a sensational road the a highlight in Polish judo defeating some of the world's top athletes. The first fight started with Inbar Lanir (ISR 30. WRL) a young, very talented player and European U23 champion 2020 and she took two Grand Slam medals in 2021 with surprising strong judo.

Fanny Estelle Posvite was defeated in the second fight. The number one seed from France (3. WRL) and bronze medalist at the European Championship and World Championships. In the semi-final she overcame Audrey Tcheumeo (FRA 9. WRL) Rio’s 2016 Olympic Vice Champion and London’s bronze medallist in 2012. She was World Champion and four-time European Champion. In the final Pacut defeated Guusje Steenhuis (NED 9. WRL) and former World number one of the ranking for a long time. Steenhuis was World Championships finalist in 2018 and five-time European Championships medalist, who now caught four silver medals at European Championships.



EMOTIONS BY PACUT Pacut is in a great shape and warmed up last months with fifth places at the Europeans in Prague and Grand Slam Tashkent. In Antalya this month she reached the final of the Grand Slam and on Sunday she moved up to gold and won her first senior European medal. Pacut won silver at the 2014 Junior Europeans in Bucharest and won bronze at the U23’s one year later and in 2017, so the talent was always there but finally stood on the highest podium. Pacut: “Standing on the podium and listening to our national anthem - tear in the eye, different thoughts and memories intertwined, mostly hard times in training, sacrifices and pride in the fact that it is the Polish flag at the highest and that it is also great step for polish judo ′′ Defitely a big credit to the coach Robert Krawczyk who was the last Polish European Champion before this golden success. Former teammate Krzystof Wilkomirski describes the European title and gives credits to the coach. “In my opinion are often one of the key elements in achieving a sports result, I heard this phrase: ′′They're not supposed to like me, they're supposed to listen and zap... If someone doesn't do what I say, they're not a professional and they won't get the result."

COLLABORATION I watched and even admired what Robert and Beata's collaboration looked like. Not only Beata's success, but most of all, the way she did it was great. She knew exactly what she wanted, she was confident, well prepared tactically, technically and physically. With faith and passion.

POOR TRAINING CIRCUMSTANCES Interestingly, part of Beata's training activities are at the club's expense, and all work and all Robert's trips are paid exclusively at the club's expense (Black Bytom) including the participation of ′′Tailor′′ in the completed European Championships. Beata's closest group on the international camp also finally got the generous consent of the union, but at the expense of... its own. Beata and Robert's collaboration brings beautiful results. Shouldn't they have full work comfort? Without fighting for every idea of your own, without looking for funds for every action?

KRAWCZYK DID IT BEFORE For a few months Beata has been implementing an individual training program. Definitely deviating from most methods. Well thought out, planned and, extremely important, supported by trust and good relationships. Tokyo 2021 is ahead of us and in June are the world championships in Budapest, but it's unclear who will eventually decide to start from the Olympics) and if we want to relive similar emotions as in Lisbon and athletes should be able to work in comfortable conditions, where they have the best opportunities development and belief that what they do makes sense. Robert Krawczyk has already led one player to the Olympic medal, so a really a Polish dream about the Olympic medal after 25 years can become a fact.”



TELMA MONTEIRO MONTEIRO OLDEST EVER EUROPEAN CHAMPION The average age of the European Champions was 26.4 years this year. The fourth oldest of this century, not super special. Interes�ng is that the two years with oldest ages are as well Olympic years. In 2012 the average age was almost 27 and in 2008 26.8 years. Of course with Telma Monteiro (35) this event had a veteran as winner in the category U57kg and she became the oldest ever winner. Also Kayra Sayit (33) and Tina Trstenjak (30) are two ‘veteran’ European Champions. Monteiro even passed Ariel Zeevi who was the oldest European Champion ever so far, who won the �tle in 2012 when he was 35 as well but less days. Monteiro will turn 36 this year. Although the body may not always cooperate given her shoulder injury, the experience to stay cool and knowing when to peak was a key asset. The contest against 40 year old Sabrina Filzmoser was the one with the highest age on the mat ever at European Championships over 16,000 registered contests. On Sunday Lasha Bekauri became the youngest winner of the event. He will turn 21 during the Olympic Games. The youngest ever man to become European Champion was Ilias Iliadis in 2004 being 17.



MEET YOUR JUDOKA JORRE VERSTRAETEN At the Grand Slam of Antalya in April Belgian’s lightweight Jorre Verstraeten defeated former European Champion Walide Khyar of France in the final that produced fireworks. Verstraeten took another IJF World Tour gold medal, but it was just what he needed. The next event will be the World Championships in Budapest and Verstraeten was able afford not to participate at the Europeans where he took bronze last time in Prague and had an off-day in Kazan.



So I started doing judo at 6 years old, it's quite a funny story actually, me and my brother wanted to do Hockey but it was full and the only thing available was judo. So we were obliged to do judo and we both fell in love with it immediately.

Sami, the crazy guy from the team, he calls me rocket, probably because I am quite active when I am fighting.

THROW My favourite throw in Tachi-waza is Kata-guruma, since under 18 I modified it to my own version and it's been working pretty good for me so far.

HIDDEN TALENT My hidden talent I think is drawing, when I was a kid I used to draw all the time. I remember I used to get tiny pieces of paper and I would draw anything on them. I think my parents still have a lot of my drawings in their closet.

RIVAL NE-WAZA My favourite ne-waza technique is a triangle choke but with my arms., I've been modifying it a bit so that I can switch to other techniques after that and it's still working pretty good, so that's my favourite.

HERO My hero is my dad, yeah we’ve got a great relationship, I’m big on family and we are a really tight family. So my dad and obviously my mum as well, they are both my biggest heroes.

JUDOKA My favourite other judoka to watch I think must be Sami Chouchi, he's my teammate and really good friend. But his judo is so exciting that I am always on the edge of my seat and jumping when he does something crazy.

My biggest rival is myself, the mental game in judo is so important, the biggest fight is within myself.

MEMORY My favourite memory of the IJF world judo tour is I think my first gold medal in Tel aviv in 2019. Yeah it was a really emotional day and I will never forget that first medal and first time standing on the podium and hearing your anthem.

ADVICE My advice to a young judoka is to have fun. Don't forget to have fun because that's the most important thing.

WHY JUDO ? Judo is a really special sport, you have to use your whole body and your mind. For me judo is amazing, also because of the community and the values that it teaches us.

FRIEND My best friend in judo is my training partner and room mate Kenneth Van Gansbeke we are away so much that I think I see him more than my family so we’ve got a really good relationship.







Featured Event “Trends & Records”

VEDAT ALBAYRAK Turkey’s succesful foreign army Turkey’s “foreign” European Champions 1997 Huseyin Ozkan 1997 Selim Tataroglu 1998 Selim Tataroglu 1999 Selim Tataroglu 2002 Irakli Uznadze 2004 Bektas Demirel 2004 Selim Tataroglu 2016 Kayra Sayit 2019 Mihael Zgank 2021 Vedat Albayrak 2021 Kayra Sayit



TOMA NIKIFOROV On fire after long period of injuries

The men take over in Belgium

The men take over in Belgium

SANNE VAN DIJKE Regains the European title Dutch and French superior in U70kg last decade



TELMA MONTEIRO Oldest ever European Champion


12 wining countries in Lisbon Lisbon shines with excellent Euros

TINA TRSTENJAK Seccond best is not so bad.

14 European title U63kg for France and Slovenia this decade



Featured Event


(L) Sabrina Filzmoser

Two veterans battled each-other in the second round of the European Championships U57kg. Telma Monteiro vs Sabrina Filzmoser. For the 40 year old Sabrina Filzmoser it was her second contest at this Championship in Lisbon. For Monteiro her first match as she had a bye in the first round as seeded player. After a record 24 European Championships she waved goodbye to the European judo fans. Not voluntarily but forced due to the victory of Monteiro. The Austrian icon will try to qualify for the Olympic Games in Tokyo and realise that ultimate dream of winning an Olympic medal. In her career she has won 9 European medals, her first in 2003 in Düsseldorf and her last in 2014 in Montpellier. At World level she claimed bronze medals in 2005 and 2010. She can qualify for her fourth Olympic Games where she debuted in 2008 in Beijing with a first round. In 2012 in London she reached the final block but finished seventh and in 2016 she wasn’t successful either. We all thought she’d quit years ago, she continued to battle and come back from serious injuries. The Olympic Games were even postponed and maybe she even liked it a bit as you must be hooked to this game competing internationally for over 25 years. She has got more records in JudoInside than any other Austrian athlete and who knows it’s possible to become the oldest ever medallist ever at the games. Realistically today was her last chance on a medal. The contest of 35 year old Telma Monteiro against 40 year old Sabrina Filzmoser was the one with the highest age on the mat ever at European Championships over 16,000 registered contests a total of 75 years on the mat. We couldn’t yet put her in our magazine under retired…. Because with Sabsi, you never know. She’s just 40 years young.




(L-R) Israeli coach Shay-Oren Smadga, President of the Israeli Judo Association Moshe Ponte and coach Shani Hershko

THE RISE OF ISRAEL ISRAEL TO ORGANISE THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS IN 2024 OR 2025 In March the Israel Judo Federation and Israeli athletics in general received a historic gift: The World Judo Championships for 2024 or 2025, depending on the Israel Judo Federation's choice, will be held in Tel Aviv. The Israeli Judo Federation is deliberating whether to host the prestigious event just prior the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris or wait one year so that the world's best judoka will be able to attend. The success of the three international Judo tournaments ever hosted by Israel – most recently the Tel Aviv Grand Slam in February, which ended with zero infections at the height of the coronavirus pandemic and included Iranian judoka Saeid Mollaei's historic participation – has not gone unnoticed by the International Judo Federation.

in Paris or wait one year so that the world's best judokas will be able to attend. In 2016 Israel organised the European U23 Championships followed by the 2018 senior Europeans and since 2019 Tel Aviv is part of the IJF World Judo Tour organising de Grand Prix and since this year a Grand Slam event. This year the World Championships will be held in Budapest, Hungary from 6-13 June. In 2023 the Worlds will be held in Doha in Qatar. In 2019 the World Championships were held in Tokyo’s Budokan, the venue for the Olympic Games. In 2013 Rio hosted the World Championships, the city for the 2016 Olympic Games. Perhaps we can still count on Paris in this Olympic cycle as host of the World Championships as France’s capital will host the 2024 Olympic Games.

The federation was deliberating whether to host the prestigious event just prior the 2024 Summer Olympics



North Korea has announced it will not take part in the Tokyo Olympics this year, saying the decision is to protect its athletes from Covid-19.

NORTH KOREA NOT ON THE TATAMI AT OLYMPIC GAMES The decision puts an end to South Korea's hopes of using the Games to engage with the North amid stalled cross-border talks. At the 2018 Judo World Championships in Baku Korea had a joint Mixed team. The announcement makes North Korea the first major country to skip the delayed 2020 Games because of the pandemic. The event is due to begin on 23 July. This will be the first time North Korea has missed a Summer Olympics since 1988, when it boycotted the Seoul Games during the Cold War. North Korea has taken stringent measures against the virus since it broke out last year. North and South Korea are technically still at war because no peace treaty was signed when the Korean War ended in 1953. In 2019 Jin A Kim won three World Tour events in her U57kg category and is the highest seeded athlete (WRL-27). Lightweight Yu Sun Jon won in Hohhot in 2019 and those 700 points still count, but the decision prevents these athletes from an attempt to qualify for the Games.






FRANCE PREPARING FOR PARIS 2024 French Judo President Stéphane Nomis moves on with new events Stéphane Nomis is on the move. The president of the French Judo Federation has held his digital General Assembly and spoke to the Ministry of Sports about the possibilities of getting back with judo at the clubs. In a speech Stéphane Nomis detailed the stages of resuming the practice of judo. “French judo is seeing the end of the tunnel. I hope to find you very soon on the tatami mats in your dojos", Stéphane Nomis, president of the French Judo Federation. Nomis "I was very satisfied with the high participation in this digital General Assembly of the FFJDA which shows that we all remain mobilized in this difficult period to allow judo to get back to the fore. I thank all the participants for their interest and their questions which indicate that we can count on them." In his speech he also spoke out his ambitions towards forthcoming international events and announced that Paris will host the IJF Masters in 2023 in the Olympic venue.

It is a small compensation as Qatar already hosts the World Championships in Doha, which would have been the perfect test event for the Olympic Games. The French Federation also announced to organise the European Team Championships in 2022. Also the European Championships will be held in France the President announced and there will be events such as European Cups for the youth. The last European Cup in France was in 2013 in Lyon where a big junior tournament with a lot of tradition since 2001 grew into a European Cup since 2011. The new President since 2020 seems to bring quite a number of changes with an eye for communication and he transfers his energy to projects. In the first year of his administration under difficult circumstances he was able to continue the ambitions in the road to the Olympic Games in Paris with group of inspiring people gathered around him.

The first major event will be the Grand Slam of Paris in October 2021



THE CLOSED OLYMPICS No foreign judo fans at Tokyo Olympics There is no doubt if the Olympics in Tokyo will continue, but it is clear that these Olympics won’t allow foreign sports fans in Japan. If Japanese fans are allows this will be certainly a benefit for the strong judo team of the host country. The zero-fans option from abroad is a painful decision for the organisation.

The new president Seiko Hashimoto of the Tokyo Olympic organising committee said that foreign fans will not be allowed at this summer’s Games. “If the situation is tough and it would make the Japanese consumers concerned, that is a situation we need to avoid from happening,” the committee president, Seiko Hashimoto, told reporters after online talks with the International Olympic Committee president, Thomas Bach. Hashimoto was questioned after the meeting as to how Japan could even consider letting in thousands of overseas fans, given how unpopular the idea is at home, where up to 80% want the Olympics cancelled or postponed again. She confirmed the subject of fans was a key part of the talks with Bach, the International Paralympic committee president, Andrew Parsons, the Tokyo governor, Yuriko Koike, and the Olympic minister, Tamayo Marukawa. Bach hinted at hard choices to be made in comments before the meeting was closed to reporters. “We will focus on the essentials,” he said.

“That means mainly the competitions. This has to be the clear focus. In this respect we may have to set one or another priority.” The games will involve 11,000 Olympic athletes and later 4,400 Paralympians, and tens of thousands of coaches, judges, sponsors, media and VIPs. Bach said he was encouraged at the number of national Olympic committees that were getting athletes vaccinated. The IOC said it encourages vaccinations but will not require them. Bach said his hope was “to have as many participants as possible arriving vaccinated to Tokyo”, adding: “I can inform you that a considerable number of national Olympic committees has already secured this preTokyo vaccination.” The plan is to isolate athletes in the Olympic Village alongside Tokyo Bay, putting them in a bubble when they arrive and until they leave Japan.







Masashi Ebinuma STYLEFUL EBINUMA BECOMES COACH Masashi Ebinuma, a three-time world champion and two-time Olympic bronze medalist in the men’s U66kg division, announced his retirement in April. The 31-year-old, who reached the podium at the 2012 London and 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games, was not selected for this summer’s Tokyo Olympics in the U73kg class. He said his loss at the Kodokan Cup final last fall made him start to think about retirement, and he decided in January that the invitational weight class championships, which took place earlier this month, would be his final competition before he moves on to a coaching career. “I’ve decided to retire. I don’t feel like I can compete on an international level anymore,” Ebinuma said at a news conference in Tokyo.

A native of Tochigi Prefecture, Ebinuma spent six years at the prestigious Kodo Gakusha judo school in Tokyo while attending junior high and high school. Known for his precise throwing technique and an aggressive grappling style aimed at victory by ippon, he stepped up to 73-kg after the Rio Games. He won the U73kg title at 4 April weight class championships in Fukuoka but was not named to the team for the World Judo Championships taking place in Budapest in June.

Photo: Christian Fidler




Shock retirement of Olympic top judoka Sally Conway By Jarryd Dunn of British Judo

Sally Conway has announced her immediate retirement from judo, calling time on a career that started over 26 years ago and has seen her become only one of two British female judoka to medal at the Olympic Games, World and European Championships and the Commonwealth Games.

The 34-year old will go down as one of Great Britain’s most accomplished athletes with some of the fiercest newaza skills that the world stage has ever seen. Speaking about why she has chosen to make the decision now, Sally said: “I always said to myself ‘I will know when the times comes, and I am ready to stop’ regardless of results and performances. I wanted to know and feel when the right time to stop was.” “I think had Tokyo 2020 gone ahead as planned last year, I 100% would have competed. The last year has given me a lot time to take a step back and reflect on the future and some may question the timing with Tokyo less than 6 months away, but in my heart I feel like now is the right time to take that step back.” “I am so happy with what I have achieved within the sport and how my career has gone that I feel that is it for me now and I’m ready to close this chapter and see what the future holds.” “I read my statement to my family last week and we all got quite emotional, but it was very much happy tears as we remembered all the good times and what we have been through.”



Career highlights Reflecting on her impressive career, Sally recalled winning bronze at the Rio Olympic Games and World Championships in 2019 as her career highlights along with her victory at the Paris Grand Slam in 2018. “The Worlds are special as it was my eighth World Championships. I also think my Paris Grand Slam gold was also my eighth appearance at the competition too.” “That is something that is testament to my career, I have never given up. I always try to better myself and be the best that I can be. These results never ‘just happen’ there has been a lot of hard work behind the scenes that has gone into achieving these performances.” “What made me so successful was having to deal with those losses earlier in my career. I have learnt so much from the low times that I was able to achieve the great performances later on and it made those successes all the sweeter knowing the journey I have been on.” Talking about what she is going to miss being on the competitive international circuit Sally said: “I am going to miss traveling with my friends. I will miss being around everybody. Most of the stories that we remember are from traveling to and from competitions and training camps and being around friends.

Judo more than sport “Judo has enabled me to make some great friends from all around the world, I will miss seeing them all as there were times that I was spending more time with my judo family than my actual family!” Looking ahead to what the future holds Sally said: “Going forward I am keeping my options open. I would like to try coaching and pass on my experience to young athletes coming through. I also plan to do sports massage, and I also enjoy public speaking. I am just going to see what opportunities arise and see what I enjoy doing, I am really looking forward to seeing what the future holds.

I have learnt so much through judo and being an elite athlete that I know I have a good foundation on which to build upon in the future.” “I would like to thank UK Sport and the National Lottery that have helped fund Sally’s journey to success. We are saddened that we won’t see her grace a judo mat again but wish her every success for the future!”

Nigel Donohue, British Judo Performance Director, said: “Sally retires leaving behind an incredible amount of fantastic memories in a career spanning over 17 years at elite level. In the last 5 years, Sally has dominated the 70kg weight category and achieved the ‘Grand Slam’ of winning a European, World and Olympic medal, plus a Paris Grand Slam gold and a Commonwealth Games bronze. This is no mean feat, as the last GB athlete to achieve such a set of results was Kate Howey, over 20 years ago.” “We wish Sally all the very best in her future endeavors and have no doubt, her Judo experiences and application to her sport for so long, will transfer into being as much as a success she was on the mat as well as off it. Thank you Sally for all the great memories.” Kate Howey, British Judo Head Coach, said: “I have watched and been involved with Sally as a judo fighter since she was 16 years old. There have been many highs and lows throughout this time and the highs far outweigh the lows. I have seen her mature from a young girl into an Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth medallist and watched her hard work payoff in the end.” “I will miss the constant smile and happy aura that she brings whenever she walks into a room but I must say it was my pleasure to coach her and be part of the fantastic career that she has had and I wish her all the best for whatever is next on her journey.”





“DAUGHTER - DOG - HUSBAND” Kelita Zupancic chooses life above judo After representing Canada for twelve years on the international judo stage, Kelita Zupancic announced to retire from her athletic career in February. Although the decision was not an easy one, Zupancic has plenty of exciting new projects to look forward to in the next chapter of her life. Recently Sally Conway and Alice Schlesinger retired as well as last year’s decisions of Ami Kondo, Kathrin Unterwurzacher, Riki Nakaya, Dirk van Tichelt, Laura Vargas Koch among others.

Her official retirement took place on September 1, the date she was scheduled to resume training in preparation for an eventual return to judo competition. “It was heartbreaking! I’ve been doing this full-time for 12 years, but it was getting harder and harder on my body. I love judo as much as ever, but I no longer felt as passionate about it. It was time for me to move on and make way for the next generation,” she explained. Despite her heart-wrenching decision, the judoka from North York has had lots of happy news to share over the



past year. Last summer, she married her long-time partner, American judoka Travis Stevens, and the delighted couple are now expecting a daughter—a little girl due in July. “Travis and I have been ready for a while now and we’re really excited to be on this new adventure together. It’s a dream come true for both of us.” Zupancic has been practicing judo since she was five years old, and she expected to compete in her third Olympic Games in 2020. However, the postponement of the Games and the outbreak of the COVID-19

pandemic led her to alter her priorities. Over the

course of her career, the Ontarian has left her mark on the judo world: Two Olympic Games (London 2012 and Rio 2016), where she placed ninth and seventh respectively in the under-70 kg category; five IJF World Championships, with a personal best seventh-place finish in 2014; and a combined total of 24 international Grand Slam and Grand Prix medals.

Successful career Zupancic also had great success at the numerous Pan American Championships she attended, winning a total of seven medals, including gold in 2010, 2013 and 2015. Also in 2015, she was crowned champion in front of the hometown Toronto crowd at the Pan American Games. “I feel very accomplished as an athlete and I’m proud of my career! I was able to pursue my passion for many years and make my sports dreams come true. I’ve been very fortunate and I’m happy to end my career on a positive note,” she said, a tremor in her voice.

And the icing on the cake: Zupancic met the “love of her life,” Travis Stevens, through judo. The two judokas met at a competition shortly after the London Olympics and have been together ever since. “Judo has really given me a lot, including my wonderful partner. I feel very fulfilled and I couldn’t ask for more,” she said.

Never far from the dojo Although she has retired as an athlete, Zupancic insists that she’ll stick close to the tatamis. In addition to pursuing her new coaching career, she will continue to promote the sport in Canada and the US along with Stevens, who won a silver medal at the Rio Olympics. Often accompanied by her dogs Trapper and Snow, every day Zupancic heads to the Boston dojo where she and Stevens have been members for the past few years, to teach her favourite sport to the next generation of judokas.



BELGIAN ROXANE TAEYMANS RETIRES WITHOUT REGRETS In March Belgian judoka Roxane Taeymans (29) retired from her sport. The 2013 European U23 champion and multiple Belgian champion says to cherish every moment in top sports but didn’t nail the main medals in judo, a career without regrets though. Taeymans: “It has been almost 15 years since I fought my first international competition, but I decided to leave high-level judo behind and take a different path in life. It has been a beautiful journey with many ups and downs. I had the privilege of getting to know many people around the world, some of whom became really good friends. It proves that no matter how tough your tatami camp may be, you can create alliances out there that are incomparable to any medal.” After her European U23 title Taymans took gold at the Pan American Open in Santiago in 2015 and the European Open in Minsk that same year.



Open in Minsk that same year. She took Belgian titles in all age categories and won the European Cup in perhaps her best year 2013. She competed successfully at events all around the world and won medals in most continents from Santiago until Perth. She fought in U70kg for 14 years after her switch from U63kg in 2007 at the age of 16. In 2013 she was Europe's number one in the EJU U23 ranking. Her highest rank in the IJF senior ranking was 19 in 2018. She fought some of the finest athletes on the globe such as

everything I really wanted, but in the end that is another life lesson, ”the judoka said. "I can still look back happily and without regrets on my journey." Taeymans thanked family and friends and the ones who facilitate the judoka like her club and Judo Vlaanderen. “You have taught me so many wise lessons, I am so grateful for that. I will never forget it. I have learned so much on this journey, so many lessons and memories without realising it. I will cherish them all forever.”

ROXANE RETIRED Two Belgian women U70kg drop out world and Olympic medallists Gevrise Emane, Sally Conway, Laura VargasKoch and fought lots of battles with Barbara Matic. The past years were accompanied by many injuries. “It felt like I already started my camp before I got on the tatami. I fought tooth and nail and I did not achieve

ALWAYS ON THE MOVE JudoInside.shop



WHAT ON EARTH IS GOING ON U70KG ? Kathrin Unterwurzacher retires after 12 year top career Last year July Austrian top athlete Kathrin Unterwurzacher (now 29) retired from international judo. The two-time European Championships medalist and 2016 Olympian announced to quite her career as a sports soldier and competitive athlete. After 12 years in the Austrian national team she has to retire due to a damaged right knee. Unterwurzacher: "The pain is too severe. My right knee no longer allows top positions."

Sports director Markus Moser had compiled a list of arguments for continuing his career and wanted to persuade Unterwurzacher to continue until the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2021. But after just a few seconds and a few words, the matter was decided. "Your decision is 100 percent understandable. Kathrin tried everything. Now, without much melancholy, she puts an end to it. She had an exemplary career! We would like to thank Kathrin for 12 wonderful years!" Kathrin Unterwurzacher wp two Grand Slams in her career as well as seven Grand Prix events. At home she won the Austrian Europea Open twice. The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games should have been the final highlight but the one-year postponement puts a spanner in the works for the 28-year-old Tyrolean. The corona lockdown gave time to think carefully and weigh. At the beginning of July, the decision was made: “The pain during training is too much. I could have gone on for a few more weeks, but not 12 months. The right knee no longer allows top positions after a cruciate ligament tear and two tears. Just being there at the Olympics is not enough for me. If I don't have a chance to win a medal, I'd rather let Magda (Krssakova) take the lead.” “Kathrin was not only my training partner, we are also best friends. We pushed each other for years. Without them I would not be where I am today. She has a big part in my success, ”says Bernadette Graf. TJV President & Unterwurzacher coach Martin Scherwitzl can understand the decision: “We hoped that Kathrin's right knee could recover to a good extent during the COVID 19 forced break.



TJV President & Unterwurzacher coach Martin Scherwitzl can understand the decision: “We hoped that Kathrin's right knee could recover to a good extent during the COVID 19 forced break. Unfortunately, this calculation did not work out. In the end, the pain was properly looked at. We will find a new role for Kathrin in the club, we won't just let go someone like her!" Judo Austria President Martin Poiger also takes off his hat in front of the 28-year-old Tyrolean: “Kathrin was an absolute exceptional athlete. Her professional attitude and the way she pushed herself to the limit every day was exemplary. Kathrin wrote Austrian judo history with the 2016 Grand Slam in Tokyo and the European Championship medals.” Unterwurzacher: “One cruciate ligament tear and two tears were ultimately too much. The pain has not decreased. Even the stability didn't improve after four months - then it was clear to me: You can't go on like this for another year until Tokyo 2021. It would make no sense. You are not competitive with a broken knee."

Friend and teammate Graf Long-time training partner Bernadette Graf reacts: “We have experienced a lot of ups and downs with each other in the past twelve years. We not only train together, we are also best friends off the mat. It is impossible for our contact to break off now. But of course I will miss it in training and also in competitions. I would have loved to experience the Olympic Games again with her - that would have been the plan. ” Successor Magda Krssakova: “We get along extremely well, even though we compete in the same weight class. I am sorry that she has to end her career because of a knee injury. I would have wished her a nicer farewell.”

The most beautiful 3 career moments The most beautiful was certainly the Grand Slam victory in Tokyo, in the Mecca of Judo. On December 2, 2016, I eliminated two Japanese women on the way to victory. If, as a foreigner, 14,000 Japanese celebrate your success with a standing ovation, you are simply blown away. I will never forget these pictures. The two European Championship medals were almost as beautiful - silver 2016 in Kazan, Russia and bronze 2017 in Warsaw, just six months after my pulmonary embolism.”

The future “My professional future is still in the stars. It will certainly not work without judo. I don't want to rule out a coaching career. "I was known for my willingness to take risks and for always pushing myself to the limit!" Martin Scherwitzl: The successful duo Graf / Unterwurzacher: “For me, the two were always a team. We went through ups and downs together. There was deliberately no special treatment. That welded us together."





Unlucky Laurin Böhler again heavily injured Austrian judoka Laurin Böhler should have made his World Tour comeback in Antalya (TUR) on April 3rd. But nothing will come of it! The 26-year-old tore a cruciate ligament in his right knee during training. The Vorarlberg resident will be operated on on Sunday - it is already his third cruciate ligament operation. The judo year 2021 - with EM, World Cup and Olympics - is already over for him before it has really started. It happened during Randori training in Linz. Laurin Böhler falls and grabs his knee. “It was immediately clear to me that something was going on. When the pain subsided after a few minutes, I regained hope. I was able to leave the hall as normal without outside help. Then came the shock in the hospital: diagnosis of a cruciate ligament tear. The first thing you think about is quitting. After all, it is my third cruciate ligament injury. Later you wonder whether you should try it without surgery ..." In spite of his long injury breaks, Laurin Böhler still had good chances in the fight for the Olympic starting places for Tokyo. In Antalya he wanted to return to the world tour, at the latest at the European Championships in Lisbon in April to collect important points for the Olympic qualification. “If I start at the Olympics, then I want a realistic chance of fighting for a medal. But to be honest, that's not possible under these circumstances. On Sunday, Laurin Böhler will have an operation on his right knee in the sanatorium. “When I think about what to expect, I'm obviously devastated.



Hard months are waiting. I have to start all over again. On the other hand: Now I definitely have no time pressure. " The man from Vorarlberg found his fighting spirit again after a brief period of shock: “I have to write off the Olympic Games in 2021 with the knee operation. My new goal is now: Paris 2024. I want to be strong enough there to be able to fight for a medal. That's my big drive. " ÖJV head coach Yvonne Bönisch also trusts him to make a new comeback: “We will do everything we can to give Laurin the best possible support on his way back. We believe in his Olympic chance in 2024! " Böhler published on his social media: “If you gamble, you have to be ready to loose. Unfortunately I lost too often and I have to give up my biggest career goal, fighting at the Tokyo Olympics. In a training camp I injured my knee again and it will be operated immediately. Since the qualification period for the Tokyo Olympics started in 2018 I had 5 operations, today will be the 6th. On top of that I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis last year, which caused me also a big setback. With all of that I still managed to be just outside the qualification and I believe with only a bit less bad luck I can qualify easy and fight for the big medals. Now I will do a rehab without any time pressure to bring myself back stronger and fitter than ever before. #paris2024

GABRIELLA WILLEMS YES OR NO TICKET TO TOKYO ? Likely no Olympic Games for Belgian judoka Willems after knee injury Donec in odio sed nisl venenatis Only a miracle can bring Belgian judoka Gabriella Willems to the Olympic Games after she got sidelined for a long time with a serious knee injury. The 23year-old Willems was taken away from the tatami in Antalya in April in her match against Barbara Matic. The Wednesday after the event the diagnosis came hard: Willems tore her ligaments and will likely miss the Olympic Games.

Willems (IJF-24) was close to qualifying for Tokyo and started the Grand Slam of Antalya strong in her category 70kg. The tragedy struck in the eighth finals when she tried to avoid an attack from Matic with a twisting movement. The conclusion was tough to face and Willems torn her ligaments. She will need to recover for the rest of the season and won’t be able to compete at the Tokyo Olympics. Another blow in this category U70kg where Sally Conway and Yuri Alvear retired as well as Belgian colleague Roxane Taeymans, still the number 43 on the list. Many positions are double with multiple athletes from one

country while only one athlete per country can qualify. France, Netherlands, Germany have all women battling for one position in Tokyo. Willems was not entirely sure yet of the Olympics, but with her classification, the tall Belgian could have been eligible to defend her chances in Japan. She had also started the season well with a fifth place finish at the Tel Aviv Grand Slam and a bronze medal at the Tbilisi Grand Slam. Last year she reached the final of the Grand Slam in Düsseldorf. The triple Belgian champion thanked everyone for all best wishes on her social media.



ALL SIGNS ON GREEN FOR TOKYO CHARLINE VAN SNICK RECOVERED JUST IN TIME Also Belgian Charline van Snick was unlucky this pre-season at the Tel Aviv Grand Slam after she got injured in her contest against French Astride Gneto in the repechage phase of the tournament. Van Snick hurt her right ankle and couldn’t proceed her bronze medal fight against Majlinda Kelmendi in Israel. The question is if she is recovered in time for the Olympic Games in Tokyo with less than 50 days to go. After a visit to the University hospital in Liege, the World and Olympic medallist was diagnosed with a rupture of the peroneal tibial ligament and elongation of the soleus muscle. On Friday after an MRI and S-ray the damage was examined to discuss if an operation was necessary to be in time to recover for the Olympic Games at 25 July. The torn ligament is a blow for "Chachou" who felt really fit and well after her efforts of last year in the corona period. Van Snick is still a medal asset for Belgium. She took bronze in 2012 U48kg and made the step to U52kg and of 2016 after the Rio Games where she finished ninth. The average age for an Olympic medal winner U52kg is 24.8 years. Only two athletes won a Olympic medal older than Van Snick. Last year she gained a bronze medal at the European Championships in Prague and reached the last eight at the World Championships in 2018 and 2019. In her weight category she won the Grand Slam in Abu Dhabi in 2017 and Grand Prix gold in The Hague in 2018. She took 13 World Tour medals U52kg. The last Olympic medal for Belgium U52kg was Ilse Heylen in 2004. With 150 days to go for the start of the Games, the clock is ticking for 30 year old Van Snick. Van Snick recovered faster than we could imagine and made her comeback the Grand Slam in Kazan in May. Let’s hope compatriot Gaby Willems can have a similar speedy recovery. 32







Qualification Battle

Henk Grol going for his fourth HENK GROL KNOWS WHAT TO DO FOR AN OLYMPIC MEDAL In the Netherlands, the decision has been made who is nominated for the Olympic Games in Tokyo in the heavyweight category + 100kg. Henk Grol is going to the Games for the fourth time in his career and will try to claim a third medal. The battle with Roy Meyer in this Olympic cycle was by no means a neat battle that resulted in a huge clash. A dirty fight that didn't look good on the mat. Everything that had built up over years came out in that first minute. Brutal behavior from Roy Meyer and a disrespectful reaction by Grol after he beat Meyer by ippon, but we know the backgrounds of this contest. The historic fight between the judokas Henk Grol and Roy Meyer lasted only fifty seconds. The fight between the two Dutch heavyweights was a ticking time bomb that exploded in the quarter finals of the European Championship in Lisbon.

Verbal fights


During the long qualification process of the judo association, both verbally put each other on their backs regularly. But physically they had never had the chance. Meyer, who is usually a bit more classy in the media, had now pushed all his energy to a peak, which did not help him in the match. Henk Grol, who impressively conquered the gold in the highest category at the Grand Slam of Paris last year, was suddenly back in the battle that was still in the hands of Roy Meyer who had taken the lead with World Championships bronze in the same Budokan in Tokyo.

Meyer impresses with his preparation, Grol impresses by staying cool. Nobody expected that the battle on the mat started like this. Exciting for the judo fan, the international judo world suddenly jumped up from the energy smashing from the tatami and judo fans watched the short contest with wide eyes.

Grol remained cool but off the mat, the two rivals were by no means friends and the two clearly showed that they did not like each other at all.

A few kicks and a finger in the eye gave Grol the energy to throw Meyer fully on his back. IPPON and Grol showed Meyer who is on top, but not in a respectful judo way, although the frustration was understandable. For that reason, the referee awarded the 36-year old Dutchman as the winner. No more doubts:

They avoided each other in the Arena in Lisbon on their way to their all-deciding match.



Grol is a two-time winner of Olympic bronze in the class U100kg and has a different stature than Meyer, who wanted to prevent Grol from dominating his ideal gripping.

Grol would go to the Games and that was confirmed by the Association on Dutch King's Day on Tuesday.

Analysis Gentleman as Meyer is, he immediately admitted after the game that he had started the game a bit too energetic and admitted his loss and with that his hope for a ticket to Tokyo, As always, Grol was clear in his commentary and did not leave Meyer intact, which was not very sportsmanlike after such clear victory. Not judo match we were looking forward to seeing, not a match in line with the bitter Olympic 24 minute battle between Maruyama and Abe that the world of judo adored. Grol was set sharp in the final by Inal Tasoev after a short an efficient and perhaps useful loss. It will remember Grol what needs to be done on his way to his third medal. Rather a hard-fought medal than beautiful judo with empty hands.

GEORGIA’S CLASH OF THE TITANS Georgia opened the last day of the 2021 European Championships in Lisbon with an all Georgian final and two medals. A contest between the two ‘rivals’, the youngster Lasha Bekauri and the warrior Beka Gviniashvili. It was a clash of the titans. The two differ five years and a lot of experience but Bekauri is already fourth on the World Ranking list and Gviniashvili seventh. After 100 seconds in the contest it was Bekauri who took the lead with a gutsy makikomi. In the last minute it was Bekauri who countered an attack from Gviniashvili. This match ended with respect from both sides, while Gviniashvili realized that Bekauri has all cards in his hands for these Olympic Games. Pure judo prevailed and the judoka on the tribune understood the value of this match.

The rise of Bekauri In the same year that Gviniashvili was on the chase for Rio at -100kg, 15 year old Lasha Bekauri was a young 60kg Georgian Cadet taking his first taste of major international success playing a key role in Georgia’s victory in the European Cadet Team Championships in Vantaa Finland. Bekauri announced his arrival at the top of the senior world stage aged just 19, taking the IJF World Masters title in Qingdao China in December 2019. This remarkable achievement signalling for all the world, that Georgia has a new kid on the block at -90kg, in contention for a place at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

This year's battle While Gviniashvili took silver behind Nöel Van ‘t End at the 2021 IJF Masters in Doha, Bekauri was one step below him on the podium, adding a Bronze medal to the Gold he took the year before. A month later at the Grand Slam in Tel Aviv, the roles were reversed with Bekauri taking the Gold medal, beating world number one Nikoloz Sherazadishvili in the final while Gviniashvili joined Krisztian Toth on the Bronze medal podium. Add in to the mix the greatest players in Europe and the World and Lisbon’s event won’t be plain sailing for either of them. No doubt anymore about the youngster Bekauri who won this battle of the Georgian titans.

Lasha Bekauri RESPECTFUL CLASH Bekauri




Cadet Worlds


2018, 2019

Junior Worlds

2013, 2015


Junior Europeans

2013 - 2015




SANNE VAN DIJKE Van Dijke nominated for Tokyo Olympic Games

The selection committee of the Dutch Judo Association has appointed Sanne van Dijke, Guusje Steenhuis and Henk Grol for the Olympic Games. The board will nominate the judoka at the Dutch Olympic Committee NOC * NSF for the participation in Tokyo. In all three weight classes U70kg, U78kg and +100 kg, there was a severe competition for which a selection committee had to make a judgment which judoka is attributed the greatest chance of a medal. “In these weight classes we are dealing exclusively with world top players and therefore medal candidates”, explains Tjaart Kloosterboer as chairman of the selection committee. It may be even closer together in one weight class than in nother, but it is the task of the selection committee to make a choice based on the results, knowledge and insight and input from the four Olympic coaches." The judoka have been in an Olympic qualification process since 2018. Due to the postponement of the Games, the process has now been running for three years, of which almost a whole year was not judged. Kloosterboer: In such a long process, there are many moments, results and other factors that become part of the decision-making and are carefully considered. The best thing is when a choice is made on the tatami and not from behind the table. In two weight classes, the U78kg and +100 kg class, a difference arose during the last measurement moments in 2021, which made this the case. Guusje Steenhuis is nominated for the U78kg weight category and Henk Grol will represent the Netherlands for the fourth time at the Olympic Games, in an attempt to win a third Olympic medal. Marhinde Verkerk and Roy Meyer were not selected. The decision in the class up to 70 kg was more difficult. You can call it impossible,” continues Kloosterboer. I've been in a position to make choices before in my career, but this was the hardest. Of course, as a selection committee you are always assured of a good choice when talking about the number 3 and 4 in the world, but it obviously doesn't feel like that. It is unbelievably bitter for Kim that we cannot take her to Tokyo.

VAN DIJKE REPRESENTS HOLLAND IN TOKYO Sanne van Dijke (-70kg) won gold at the 2021 European Championships in Lisbon



The committee's decision stems from performance at measurement moments and the knowledge and input of four Olympic coaches on all predetermined criteria. If we look at the results, there are no significant differences between the two ladies after the entire qualifying process. In the end - partly on the basis of input from coaches - we highlighted the last part of the process. That is slightly in favor of Sanne.”

Van Dijke reacted on her nomination: “Relieved, happy, recognized, a bit of everything. Seriously it was the longest day in my life, there was a huge tension as it was this close. Despite the trust I have that I have shown belonging to those games, it is always subjective what is your own opinion, it is always coloured. I tried to analyse it objectively and even then I am the best, but it’s always scary if it’s out of your hands. Now there is relieve.”



TEDDY RINER OLYMPIC GAMES REPRESENT A SYMBOL With less than two months to go, Japan counts down to the Olympics this summer. The Judo tournament starts the day after the opening ceremony at 24 July. The world is still grappling with the devastation left by the coronavirus.

The Olympic Games is the huge blockbuster in sports, the cream of the crop and the world watches with bated breath. This year’s Games, which prohibit overseas spectators and confine athletes to the perimeters of the Athlete Village, will look very different. The Olympics may be just the sort of celebratory distraction the world needs. For Teddy Riner, France’s two-time Olympic gold medalist in Judo, the games mean more than simply breaking his numerous records.



RINER: “The Tokyo Olympic Games are without doubt what I’ve waited for the most. They represent so much: the biggest competition in our judo career, this is Japan, the land of Judo. There is no more beautiful symbol for me.” Teddy Riner is the world’s only judoka to have won 10 World Championship gold medals and can win his fourth Olympic medal and third Olympic title.



JEON KI-YOUNG AND DANIEL LASCAU NEW IJF REFEREE DIRECTORS The announcement was made public in Tashkent during the Grand Slam in March. Jeon was the 1996 Olympic champion of Atlanta and a triple world champion 1993, 1995 and 1997. Lascau was also World Champion in 1991 in Barcelona. Lascau was IJF sports commissioner since 2004 and IJF sport director since 2012. He has a Master Degree in Sport. He was EJU Sport Director until 2009 and EJU vice president from 2008-2012. He is former President of the Romanian Judo Federation. Both directors attended most of the IJF World Judo Tour events for years. Jeon was called 'Judo Genius'. Despite his height of 179cm, he reigned as the strongest in this weight class by freely practicing the upfishing, which is used by short athletes. Jeon received a doctorate from his master in 2003 and was appointed professor of Judo Department at Yongin University in 2005. It is the first time in 52 years since the opening of Yongin University in 1953 that a graduate from Pavilion University was appointed as a professor in the Department of Judo Department at Yongin University.

Jeon Ki-Young

Jan Snijders (77) stepped down as Head of Refereeing at the EJU previously and dedicated on his IJF work only. Snijders was awarded the ninth Dan last year. Snijders his international judo career in 1954 and in 1961 won gold at the European Junior Championships. One year later in 1962, he was European senior Champion in Essen and in 1964 he participated in the first Olympics in Tokyo. During the years 1962 to 1972, he was a member of the Dutch national team. He was a referee at seven world championships and at several Olympic Games (Seoul 1988 and Barcelona 1992). Snijders received a Royal award: Knight in the Order of Orange-Nassau. He is Honorary Member of the European Judo Union and Member of Merit of the Dutch Judo Assocation.

Daniel Lascau

The two current chief directors of the IJF Refereeing Commission, Spaniard Juan Carlos Barcos and the Dutchman Jan Snijders will soon be replaced by the two new directors: Korean Ki-Young Jeon and German Daniel Lascau (world champion 1991). Both are currently supervisors.



Juan Carlos Barcos (72) led the IJF refereeing commission since 2001. Barcos began judo at 13 in Pamplona. As a young practitioner and then a competitor, he also passed his judo teacher's diplomas, and while he was studying economics, he decided to set up his own gym whose judo quickly became the driving force. In parallel he started to be a referee and climbed the ladder to find himself refereeing the Moscow Games in 1980, then those in Los Angeles in 1984. 72-year old Barcos is a seventh Dan Economist and was awarded the National Gold Medal for Sporting Merit. Both Barcos as Snijders are the elected refereeing members and will finish their executive members mandate until the World Championships this year in Budapest.


GAMES The qualification battle is not over yet! The World Championships will provide the last points for qualification for the Olympic Games in Tokyo. Fallow the World Championships from 6-13 June at JudoInside.com

JudoInside will cover the Olympic Games as usual with the latest news, photos, results, stats and updated biographies. First we will start our coverage in Budapest for the 2021 World Championships



TRIBUTE TO JUDO LEGEND TOSHIHIKO KOGA Toshihiko Koga, a Japanese Olympic judo champion at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, passed away in March at his home in Kawasaki, near Tokyo, people close to him said. He was 53.

“The Forever Trendsetter” Koga had a signature ippon-seoinage, his morote-seoi-nage with one hand and his sode-tsuri-komi-goshi with the reverse entry. Many athletes took his innovations into their style of judo. The three-time Olympian had been temporarily hospitalized in the spring of last year due to kidney cancer and underwent surgery. He did not publicize his illness and closed the dojo "Koga Juku" that he runs. Koga was scheduled to take part in the Tokyo Olympic torch relay in May in his native prefecture of Saga, southwestern Japan. The relay kicks off Thursday in Fukushima Prefecture in the country's northeast. After retiring as a competitor, Koga served as a coach for the women's national judo team. He also coached the women's judo team at International Pacific University in Okayama, western Japan, from 2007, making it one of the strongest clubs in the country. Toshihiko Koga’s performances Three-time World Champion and Olympic champion. Koga was he most dominant light-middleweight fighter in the world during the late 80s to mid-90s.



1967 - 2021

TOSHIHIKO KOGA passed away at 53






World Champion

World Champion

Olympic Champion

World Champion

Olympic silver



HENRI COURTINE Tenth Dan judoka Henri Courtine passed away Henri Courtine, the first French 10th dan, died on Saturday February 20 at the age of 90. A monument left the world of judo.

“Henri Courtine 10th DAN.”

passed away at 90 In Judo he had an outstanding record in the 1950s and claimed a bronze medal at the 1956 Judo World Championships. Later he had a career as a leader that was just as successful. In 2007 he was awarded the first tenth dan of France and the only one to date. 1980 World Champion and French Federation President Jean-Luc Rougé had gone to Japan to seek authorization to appoint the first French 10th dan. The Tokyo Kodokan had given her its consent to award this supreme honor to Henri Courtine, which was done on September 10, 2007. It designates Henri Courtine for this distinction for the first great French designer, the first great champion, the first DTN of French judo. He who had worn the 9th dan for 14 years at that time and who, beyond the mat, had known how to make judo the laboratory for a life of responsibility within sports institutions as well as within the French Republic. Courtine entered his name on the list of major international medallists, when he placed 2nd at the European Championships in Brussels, open category. A year later he repeated that silver medal at the European Championships in Paris. The following year, 1956, Henri Courtine stepped on the podium of the first World Championships in Tokyo. He went on to obtain several European titles before passing to the other side of the barrier, by becoming national coach. In 1966, he became the first French 6th dan, along with Bernard Pariset and the same year was appointed National Technical Director of the French Judo Federation, before becoming its administrative director



NICOLA TEMPESTA passed away at 85 Tempesta competed at the first Olympic Games in Tokyo in his category over 80kg. The man from Naples was also technical director of the Azzuri, the Italian team. Obviously he was one of the main figures in the Italian team that took European medals in the early sixties. Besides his multiple Italian national titles, he claimed his first European title in 1957 in Rotterdam and added his second in 1961 in Milano. At the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, he competed the +93kg but lost to the Canadian Doug Rogers. At the 1961 World Championships, he fought against Scottish legend George Kerr, with a current tenth Dan and who is two years younger.

Italy judo mourns about the death of Nicola Tempesta The legend judoka was European Champion in 1957 and 1961 and he captured won 9 European Championships medals in his career.

Tempesta is an icon in Italy, although he was 85 years, his name is still familiar in the world of judo.

“Italian legend 9th DAN.”

Tempesta was obviously the first European Champion for Italy and it took until 1974 when Laura Di Toma was the next. Felice Mariani was the first male European Champion in 1978. He leaves his wife Elvira and his four children, to whom Fijlkam President Domenico Falcone addresses the sentiment of deep personal condolences and in the name of the entire federal world. Nicola represented an authentic point of reference for the world of Judo, a discipline to which he dedicated passion, dedication, enthusiasm, reaching the prestigious goal of the 9th Dan to crown a life spent for Sport. He was Technical Director of the Italian National Team, educator, tireless promoter of the values that ennoble Sport, and has told with his life an exceptional human and sporting journey to which the whole world of Judo looks on with admiration and gratitude.



Photo: David Lundgren

“FUNNYFACE FANNY” LOST LAST FIGHT Athletes, friends and judo family are sending their last wishes to Swedish judoka Fanny Malmborg who lost her battle to cancer. In 2016 and 2017 she battled with leukemia but came back strongly and even fought a few matches for fun on the tatami. She was a successful coach for her club Staffansdorp and with her boyfriend David Lundgren she traveled through Europe to guide her young judo pupils into their judo adventures. Unfortunately cancer struck back heavily and Fanny lost that final battle.



Fanny was part of a very successful Swedish judo generation and was a great talent as a cadet and junior. Malmborg fought against athletes such as Nekoda Davis, Bekky Livesey, Arleta Podolak, Lola Benarroche, Jaione Equisoain, Sanne Verhagen and many more. Malmborg had a good year in 2013 with her second Swedish junior title U57kg and participation at European and World Junior Championships. The current senior generation travelled

Tragic death of Fanny Malmborg (27)

the world with Malmborg and posted their wishes on social media. Fanny passed away at Easter Sunday and was just 27 years. One of her close judo friends Mia Hermansson: "Fanny has done everything in her power and a little more. She has in recent years had it extremely tough, but not once have I heard her complain. I have never met a stronger and more stubborn person! When we said our last goodbyes it was Fanny who

comforted me. Rest in comforted me. Rest in peace now my beloved friend, "my best judo buddy!" Jennie and Martin Andréason both led Staffanstorp Judoclub. Fanny trained Staffanstorp since she was kid. They are devastated about the loss. “A few weeks ago the discovered that the cancer had spread to her brain and after that everything happen very fast. It feels so unreel, the emptiness so unreel, the emptiness and sorrow is

unbearable.” Swedish Judo Association national team manager Robert Eriksson had the privilege to work with Fanny: Fanny was for me a real fighter and warrior and these people are unique! She inspired me and many others with her attitude and positive and wonderful attitude both on and off the carpet. Let's all bring Fanny's attitude to life and remember her as the real fighter she was!



THE SENSATION OF GOLD By Nicola Calzaretta

In 2008 Giulia Quintavalle took the Olympic title in Beijing. Again an Italian surprise. She will take us back to the historical days and tells us how she moved on in her life. Recently she was elected into the National council of CONI, The Italian Olympic Committee. We take you back to the Olympic Games of 2008 in Beijing with the Italian gold medallist. Can you tell us the exciting journey to gold in Beijing? “For the first race, the draw had given me the 2004 Olympic champion Yvonne Boenisch (GER). But I was not scared, quite the contrary. I loaded myself further. I was aware of my strength. Before getting on the tatami I said “today I'll kill everyone”. I knew I was strong, I was fine. I won. In the next round I overtook the Erdenet-Od Khishigbat, the 2005 World Championships bronze medallist. Then French Barbara Harel and in the semi final I had to fight Australian Maria Pekli, bronze medal in Sydney 2000. It was tough. I was afraid of a problem in my right arm. The race was interrupted for a while but I went back to the mat and I won!” 11 August 2008. The final against Dutch Deborah Gravenstijn, bronze medal in Athens 2004, a complicated and experienced opponent. “Before the race the only thought was for gold. I had to and wanted to win.



“2008 Olympic Champion Giulia Quintavalle ”

I was afraid of the Dutch, even if I had beaten her at the World Cup. But I was looking at myself, to my desire to win and I did the job quite well.” What were your strengths? “The technique. The balance. The height and then the sensitivity: I "feel" the opponent a lot. I read her body, her movements and these have always helped me in choosing the move to do.” A few seconds before the end, during a pause in the fight, you made the sign of the cross. “I believe in God, maybe I'm not a model practitioner, I turned to him. And then at that moment I also addressed a thought to my grandfather Giovanni, who flew to heaven in 2003 and to whom I was very attached.” The goal was achieved. You became Olympic champion. “A magnificent, indescribable sensation. I made the gesture of the three fingers spinning near the ear, I ran towards the coach and the teammates. On the podium, during the national anthem, I danced. At the age of 25, gold at the first Olympic participation and for the first time in history. Reality has surpassed even the dream.”

What gave you that success and what it took from you. "Gold matters. It gave exposure to me and to Judo. It allowed me to be the flag-bearer at the Baku European Games in 2015. But after my career I was not happy, on the psychological level it was tough. It took me some time to get back to my standards. You retired after the London Games, even tried to qualify for Rio, but did you have a plan for your life after judo? “I have thought about retirement after London. I was going to get married and became a mother. After I couldn’t qualify for Rio it was hard to accept it was over. I might become a coach someday. I believe that the contribution of experience and competence that former athletes can give is fundamental for each discipline. In 2017 you were elected to the Coni National Council and recently prolonger your term for four years “And for this I thank Giovanni Malagò who wanted me to apply. The president has always focused on former athletes. I am very happy with the reelection. I like being able to contribute to the growth of sport in this capacity. It is a stimulating and formative experience.”





THE NEXT BLOCKBUSTER OF 2021 TOP EVENTS BUDAPEST 2021 Senior World Championships


2020 Grand Slam Budapest 2017 Senior World Championships 2014 Grand Prix Budapest until 2019 2013 European Championships 2009 Cadet World Championships 2004 European Open Championships 2004 Junior World Championships



NO JUDO OFF Deguchi vs Klimkait battle decided at World Championships On June 8 in Budapest, Christa Deguchi and Jessica Klimkait will not only be fighting for the title of World Champion, but also, and perhaps more importantly, for Canada’s only available spot in the under-57 kg weight class at the Tokyo Olympic Games. The top-ranked athlete at the 2021 World Championships will earn a spot at the Olympics. Under Canada’s current public health regulations, judo cannot be practiced for an indefinite period. As a result, Judo Canada is unable to hold the fight-offs that normally take place when two athletes are ranked in the world’s Top 8. According to International Judo Federation rules, only one athlete per country per weight class may compete at the Olympics. With Deguchi and Klimkait currently holding the first and second spots respectively in the international under-57kg rankings, Canada’s national judo federation was forced to find an alternative solution to decide who would represent the country at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Christa Deguchi

There’s still a lot of uncertainty, but the clock is counting down quickly to the Olympics. As a former athlete, I know that when it comes to preparing, there’s nothing worse than not knowing what’s in store. We therefore had to come up with a definite and conclusive way to decide between Christa and Jessica,” said Nicolas Gill, CEO and High Performance Director at Judo Canada.

BUDAPEST BATTLE With the approval of the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC), Judo Canada’s board of directors made an exceptional amendment to its rules to arrive at a solution. The athletes in question have been contacted and informed and have agreed to the alternative Olympic selection method.

Judo Canada’s CEO and High Performance Director, with the approval of the board of directors, will select which of the two athletes will be nominated to the COC for selection to the Olympic Team, based on an aggregate of the following three equally weighted criteria:

In the event of a tie at the 2021 World Championships (BronzeBronze, 5th-5th, 7th-7th or mutual exclusion from the Top 8), or if the competition is cancelled,

- Performance at the 2018 and 2019 Senior World Championships - World ranking following the 2021 World Championships - Head-to-head matches between the

two athletes during the Olympic qualification period - The non-selected athlete will be named as alternate for the Olympic team. Following the World Championships in Hungary, should another world ranking situation in another category requiring a fight-off arise, Judo Canada’s board of directors will examine its options in accordance with the health rules in effect in the country at that time.




Not long after death of Toshihiko Koga, his son Genki Koga was invited for the Senior World Championships in Budapest to be held in June. The World elite will come to the Hungarian capital for the ‘extra’ World Championships to give space to top athletes to qualify for the Olympic Games. Many countries though will choose not to send their Olympic Team to Budapest, as many position are decided anyway. Some countries will send a team that is capable of experiencing such event for the future or in the case of Japan to send the second team with still enough medal chances. The Japanese World Championships team was announced after the national championships last weekend held in Fukuoka. Check out the names and you will be convinced that the second team of Japan definitely will mingle for the medals in Budapest.

The men's choices are formalised on Sunday by the Japanese selection committee. There with two fighters added in the person of Sanshiro Murao and Genki Koga. Koga was 2015 cadet and 2018 juniors world champion who earned his place this weekend by winning the national championships in Fukuoka, a great tribute to his late father. Judo fans will enjoy to see a number of super stars in the team such as Nagayama, Maruyama, Hashimoto and Kaguera.



WOMEN’S TEAM -48kg: -48kg: -52kg: -57kg: -63kg: -70kg: -78kg: +78kg: +78kg:


Selected for the mixed team competition: -57kg: Haruka FUNAKUBO -70kg: Saki NIIZOE

MEN’S TEAM -60kg: -60kg: -66kg: -73kg: -81kg: -90kg: -90kg: -100g: +100g:


Substitutes for the mixed team competition: -73kg: Kenshi HARADA +100kg: Kazuya SATO



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World Championships medal as prelude for the gold back patch



For the first time World Championships are held in the same year as the Olympic Games. In fact one month later are the Olympics in Tokyo. A unique situation where perhaps not all top athletes will appear, however we know that World Championships usually have a stronger field than the Olympic Games with limited slots. Some athletes might spare themselves for the blockbuster of their career, but there is enough competition at stake.

Budapest is again the capital for the World Championships like in 2017. Tokyo and Paris hosted 5 World Championships, two more than Rio de Janeiro. Budapest follows with two tournaments. The Judo history started in 1956, first for men only and since 1980 separate women world championships were introduced. Nowadays World Championships are celebrated every year as the culmination of an intense season. What makes the World Championships a really difficult event is its annual repetition.

Who are going to win the red back patches for the next year? Who might even win a red and gold back patch in 2021? The ultimate goal and unique happening. For sure, the favourites for the Games are catapulted in Budapest. Remember that the valuable points will help athlete for a better seeding in Tokyo. A protected place will help to separate from other top athletes until the quarter finals and a top seed is the first step to an Olympic medal.









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