The sport of judo was introduced to the Olympic program at the 1964 Tokyo Games. And the Japanese have continued to dominate this sport, including at this year’s World Championships in Baku (AZE).
With three days – and six weight classes – left, the Japanese have collected 10 medals (4-5-1) compared to two for Korea, France, Iran, Ukraine and Kazakhstan. And there are more to come.
There were also some very familiar faces for Japan on the tatami in Baku. In the men’s events (so far), Naohisa Takato (-60 kg) and Hifumi Abe (-66 kg) repeated as World Champions from 2017 and -73 winner Soichi Hashimoto from 2017 ended up second this time. Among the women, last year’s winners Funa Tonaki (-48 kg) and Ai Shishime (-52 kg) won silvers this time, but Tsukasa Yoshida (-57 kg) went from silver in 2017 to the top of the podium this year.
The women’s -63 kg class was again a highlight, as France’s Clarisse Agbegnenou continuing her battle with Slovenia’s Tina Trstenjak and Japan’s Miku Tashiro.
Agbegnenou, age 25, won this time, her third World Championship title (2014-17-18) and sixth Worlds medal, to go along with her Rio silver medal. This time, she overcame Japan’s Tashiro (24) won her third Worlds medal (0-1-2) from 2014-18. Trstenjak (28) won bronze this time, her fourth Worlds medal (1-1-2) from 2014-18, but then she did win the Rio gold.
All three are going to be around for a while, so their combined 12 Worlds medals is going to grow.
The World Championships continue in Baku this week with three more days of competition:
∙ 24 September: Men’s -90 kg; women’s -70 kg
∙ 25 September: Men’s -100 kg; women’s -78 kg
∙ 26 September: Men’s +100 kg; women’s +78 kg
Look for results here. Summaries so far:
IJF World Championships
Baku (AZE) ~ 20-27 September 2018
(Full results here)
-60 kg: 1. Naohisa Takato (JPN); 2. Robert Mshvidobadze (RUS); 3. Amiran Papinashvili (GEO) and Ryuju Nagayama (JPN); 5. Karamat Huseynov (AZE) and Harim Lee (KOP); 7. Yong Gwon Kim (PRK) and Eric Takabatake (BRA).
-66 kg: 1. Hifumi Abe (JPN); 2. Yerlan Serikzhanov (KAZ); 3. Georgii Zantaria (UKR) and Baul An (KOR); 5. Tal Flicker (ISR) and Daniel Cargnin (BRA); 7. Mikhail Puliaev (RUS) and Kherlen Ganbold (MGL).
-73 kg: 1. Changrim An (KOR); 2. Soichi Hashimoto (JPN); 3. Mohammad Mohammadi (IRI) and Hidayat Heydarov (AZE); 5. Odbayar Ganbaatar (MGL) and Tsogbaatar Tsend-Ochir (MGL); 7. Zhansay Smagulov (KAZ) and Lasha Shavdatuashvili (GEO).
-81 kg: 1. Saeid Mollaei (IRI); 2. Sotaro Fujiwara (JPN); 3. Vedat Albayrak (TUR) and Alexander Wieczerzak (GER); 5. Dominic Ressel (GER) and Damian Szwarnowiecki (POL); 7. Mattias Case (GER) and Khasan Khalmurzaev (RUS).
-48 kg: 1. Daria Bilodid (UKR); 2. Funa Tonaki (JPN); 3. Paula Pareto (ARG) and Otgonsetseg Galbadrakh (KAZ); 5. Catarina Costa (POR) and Urantsetseg Munkhbat (MGL); 7. Julia Figueroa (ESP) and Marusa Stangar (SLO).
-52 kg: 1. Uta Abe (JPN); 2. Ai Shishime (JPN); 3. Amandine Buchard (FRA) and Erika Miranda (BRA); 5. Jessica Pereira (BRA) and Charline van Snick (BEL); 7. Natalia Kuziutina (RUS) and Gefen Primo (ISR).
-57 kg: 1. Tsukasa Yoshida (JPN); 2. Nekoda Smythe-Davis (GBR); 3. Christa Deguchi (CAN) and Syriya Dorjsuren (MGL); 5. You-jeong Kwon (KOR) and Theresa Stoll (GER); 7. Nora Gjakova (KOS) and Helene Receveaux (FRA).
-63 kg: 1. Clarisse Agbegnenou (FRA); 2. Miku Tashiro (JPN); 3. Juul Franssen (NED) and Tina Trstenjak (SLO); 5. Martyna Trajdos (GER) and Maylin del Toro Carvajal (CUB), 7. Kathrin Unterwurzacher (AUT) and Katharina Haecker (AUS).