Preview of the 29th edition of the World Judo

Rio de Janeiro – Brazil, August 25, 2013: The 29th edition of the World Judo Championships, the centerpiece of the World Judo Tour, is set to illuminate the Maracanazinho in the idyllic setting of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from 26 August to 1 September.

The sporting world is counting down the hours to the opening day of the judo spectacle as the Maracanazinho (Little Maracana) transforms into a theatre of judo featuring the sport’s leading exponents.

Few locations can match the sights and sounds of Brazil’s second largest city and the success and popularity that judo enjoys in the country.

The staff of the organising committee have assembled a structure worthy of the most important event of the year. Producers, technicians and employees in various areas of the Brazilian Judo Confederation totalling more than 300 people were involved. Media interest in the sport and the World Championships is at an all-time high with over 500 reporters expected.

The four corners of the world have descended on Rio as 680 judoka will compete with 123 countries represented.

Hosts Brazil are blessed with a roll call of excellence and two of their four London 2012 Olympic medallists will compete on the opening day.

The competition will conclude with the team’s competition on Sunday 1 September. The team competition continues to grow in participation and significance every year and now is now well established at the sport’s marquee event.

Teams of five judoka will compete with eight men’s teams and eight women’s teams. There will be two teams from Africa, four from Asia and four from Europe, two from Pan America, one from Oceania, one extra team from the continent of the last winner and one wild card entry joining hosts Brazil.

As the nerve-filled hours ticked away for the athletes, all eyes were on the draw which took place at the Royal Tulip Hotel on Sunday afternoon. A press conference followed the draw as members of the media from around the world were in attendance.

Marius VIZER, IJF President, expressed his pleasure with the preparations of the competition.

“I welcome everyone to Rio for the World Championships. I give a special welcome to our special guest Mr. Patrick HICKEY, IOC Executive Board member, who is a strong contributor to the judo movement.

“Thank you all the unions of our sport, the IJF Executive Committee and staff. With this World Championships we open a new page for the future of judo, a focus on the quality sector of the sport. I thank you all for your trust and collaboration and wish you well for the competition.”

Paulo WANDERLEY, President of the Brazilian Judo Confederation and the Pan American Judo Confederation, said: “I give my warmest welcome to the judo family, I wish you a good stay and good luck.”

Mr. Patrick HICKEY said: “It gives me great pleasure to participate in the draw and to represent and support judo on the IOC board. I wish all the delegations a successful competition and I’m looking forward to a great week of judo.”

PREVIEW

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Women:

-48kg: Mongolia will be out to dominate the lightest category of the competition on the opening day as two of their brightest talents are called into action.

World number 10 Urantsetseg MUNKHBAT (MGL) is growing in stature with consistent displays on the World Judo Tour including a bronze medal at the Paris Grand Slam this year and most recently a hard-fought fifth-place at the World Judo Masters. Her younger compatriot Otgontsetseg GALBADRAKH (MGL) is hot on her heels having clinched a silver medal at the Baku Grand Slam and a seventh-place finish at the World Judo Masters. Former South East Asian Championship bronze medallist LUI Wing Yin (HKG) will be among those aiming to overcome the in-form opposition from the host country.

-52kg: World number five Tsolmon ADIYASAMBUU (MGL) has made huge strides on the World Judo Tour this year with a return of four medals to date including a silver medal at the Baku Grand Slam. As a result ADIYASAMBUU has enjoyed an accelerated rise towards the summit of the -52kg category and will have her sights set on winning her first gold medal at this level.

Compatriot Bat-Erdene BALJINNYAM (MGL) has an Asian Championship silver medal to her name this year while 17-year-old prodigy PARK Da Sol (KOR), who took fifth-place at the Paris Grand Slam, will harbour hopes of a first medal on the World Judo Tour stage. Russian teenager Polina MOLCHANOVA (RUS) will gain more experience of top level competition as she also takes to the tatami in the -52kg category.

-57kg: World number two Sumiya DORJSUREN (MGL), winner of the World Judo Masters in May, will be the top seed in the -52kg category.

Add an adoring home crowd to the world-class talents of DORJSUREN and the 22-year-old becomes an ever greater proposition for her rivals this weekend. World number 14 KIM Jan-Di (KOR) has all the tools to mount a strong challenge for the top prize in the category. The Dusseldorf Grand Prix bronze medallist could break into the top eight on the world ranking list with victory in Mongolia which would be a significant jump with next week’s Moscow Grand Slam being the final event before the World Championships.

-63kg: Mongolia will be targeting a medal rush in the -63kg category as they field the maximum quota of four judoka – as the host nation – from their talent-rich team.

That entry includes world number 22 Mungunchimeg BALDORJ (MGL), reigning Asian Championship bronze medallist Tserennadmid TSEND-AYUSH (MGL) and veteran Battugs TUMEN-OD (MGL), a three-time Asian Championship bronze medallist. Pan American Championship bronze medallist Hannah MARTIN (USA) and former Junior Asian Championships silver medallist Meerim MOMUNOVA (KGZ) will also be in action.

-70kg: Dusseldorf Grand Prix bronze medallist KIM Seongyeon (KOR) leads the way in the ever-intriguing -70kg category. The 22-year-old secured a career-best result last time out as she fought her way to a fifth-place finish at the World Judo Masters.

World number 18 and two-time European bronze medallist Juliane ROBRA (SUI) will be one of the most decorated and experienced judoka in action while at the other end of her career the world number 19 Naranjargal TSEND AYUSH (MGL) will be out to make a statement on home soil to add to an impressive medal collection that includes four continental medals and a Moscow Grand Slam silver medal.

Oberwart European bronze medallist ONO Yoko (JPN) and former European u23 Championship runner-up Alena EIGLOVA (CZE) will hope to emerge under the radar and stake a claim for honours in Ulaanbaatar.

-78kg: Olympian and world number 18 Keivi PINTO (VEN) is the top seed in the -78kg category. The evergreen PINTO, 33, clinched bronze at the Pan American Championship in April to show she is still at the peak of her powers.

JUNG Da Woon (KOR) will be out to improve on her world number 27 billing as she aims for a second Grand Prix medal of her career having won silver in Qingdao last year. Reigning Asian Championship bronze medallist Munkhtuya BATTULGA (MGL) will lead the charge for the hosts while 20-year-old hotshot HIDAKA Misaki (JPN) will look to return to form which saw her secure a bronze medal at the 2012 Qingdao Grand Prix.

+78kg: Two of the sport’s most seasoned heavyweights will be in action as Giovanna BLANCO (VEN) and Tserenkhand DORJGOTOV (MGL), who have amassed a staggering 17 continental medals between them, will grace the tatami in Ulaanbaatar.

World number 24 BLANCO, 30, took silver at the San Salvador Pan American Open in June while 36-year-old DORJGOTOV can count on a roaring ovation from her home crowd as a nine-time continental medallist and one of the pioneers in women’s judo for Mongolia. Former World Judo Masters bronze medallist KIM Na-Young (KOR), 25, who finished in fifth-place at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, will be tipped to stamp her name on proceedings and make an overdue return to a World Judo Tour medal podium.

Men: -60kg

Mongolia have entered a formidable four-man contingent in one of their favourite categories including three judoka inside the top 16 on the world ranking list.

World number three and Baku Grand Slam winner Amartuvshin DASHDAVAA (MGL) will be joined in action by world number five Boldbaatar GANBAT (MGL) who clinched a silver medal at the World Judo Masters. World number 14 and Miami Grand Prix winner Kherlen GANBOLD (MGL) along with Warsaw European Open bronze medallist Boldbaatar CHIMED-YONDON (MGL) complete the imposing home entry.

Artiom ARSHANSKI (ISR) won bronze at the European Championships in April to announce his arrival in the category and will make his latest and possibly strongest bid for a first Grand Prix medal after finishing in fifth-place in Samsun in March.

-66kg: World number one Tumurkhuleg DAVAADORJ (MGL), one of the crown jewels of Mongolian judo, will be out to put on a show for his home crowd as he looks set to extend his lead at the summit of the -66kg category. The 22-year-old missed out on a medal at the World Judo Masters with a fifth-place finish but will enter the event knowing that a medal-winning performance will all but secure him the top seeding for the World Championships.

World number nine Golan POLLACK (ISR) has embraced the World Judo Tour stage this year with back-to-back Grand Prix medals as he won bronze in Dusseldorf and silver in Samsun which paved the way for a stunning display at the World Judo Masters where he won a career-best bronze medal. World number 14 and former World Judo Masters winner Miyaragchaa SANJAASUREN (MGL) could pose the greatest threat to his heralded compatriot while Asian Championship bronze medallist HWANG Bo-Bae (KOR) and Miami Grand Prix bronze medallist Batgerel BATTSETSEG (MGL) will have their own designs on gracing the medal podium.

-73kg: World number one and London 2012 Olympic bronze medallist Nyam-Ochir SAINJARGAL (MGL) leads a high-quality -73kg field. SAINJARGAL won the World Judo Masters in May to strengthen his position as world leader and will demand from himself another performance of the highest calibre to win the top prize in his homeland as he builds momentum towards the World Championships. World number six Tsagaanbaatar KHASHBAATAR (MGL) took bronze at the World Judo Masters in May and will take to the tatami alongside teammate and world number 17 Odbayar GANBAATAR (MGL).

Former Paris Grand Slam winner KIM Joo-Jin (KOR) and world number 20 Victor SCVORTOV (UAE) – who won his country’s first Grand Slam medal as he took silver in Baku this year – will be among those bidding to outlast the decorated home judoka.

-81kg: Baku Grand Slam bronze medallist Sergiu TOMA (UAE) is the top seed in the -81kg category. The world number 16 won his first Grand Prix medal in Qingdao last year and will be out to win number two while improving on that bronze medal result. Asian Championship bronze medallist Uuganbaatar OTGONBAATAR (MGL) and Miami Grand Prix bronze medallist Tuvshinjargal GAN (MGL) will lead the line for the hosts. Tallinn European Open bronze medallist Jaromir MUSIL (CZE) continues to improve with every outing and will be poised for a tilt at a first Grand Prix medal.

-90kg: Former Dusseldorf Grand Prix bronze medallist Timur BOLAT (KAZ) knows what it takes to win honours at this level and will be confident of returning to a World Judo Tour medal podium for the first time in three years.

Six-time European Cup medallist Alexander GRIGOREV (RUS) will be looking to take his career to the next level with a first Grand Prix medal and possesses the talent to fulfil his ambition on Sunday. Former East Asian Games bronze medallist Janchivdorj BUNDDORJ (MGL) makes an immediate return to action after taking silver at the FISU Universiade in Kazan on Monday.

-100kg: Warsaw European Open winner Or SASSON (ISR) will be looking to build on a highly-successful first half of the year which has seen him earn two European Open gold medals, a fifth-place at the European Championships and seventh-place finishes at Grand Prix events in Dusseldorf and Samsun. The world number 21 will be brimming with confidence and keenly aware that a first Grand Prix medal of his career could move him into the top 16 on the world ranking list. KIM Kyeongtae (KOR) looks set to rise once again as he aims to reproduce the form which saw him capture a bronze medal at the Dusseldorf Grand Prix this year.

+100kg: Former Moscow Grand Slam winner KIM Soo-Whan (KOR) won plaudits as he returned to form by winning the Miami Grand Prix in June and could make a swift return to a World Judo Tour medal podium on Sunday.

World number 25 Sugarjargal BOLDPUREV (MGL) had to settle for bronze in Miami but will be buoyed by fond memories of competing in Ulaanbaatar having won national honours here in 2010.

COMPETITION PROGRAMME

Saturday

11:00 Preliminaries on three mats

16:30 Opening ceremony

17:00 Final block

Women: -48kg, -52kg, -57kg, -63kg

Men: -60kg, -66kg, -73kg

Sunday

11:00 Preliminaries on three mats

17:00 Final block

Women: -70kg, -78kg, +78kg

Men: -81kg, -90k, -100kg, +100kg

Location: Buyant Ukhaa Sport Complex. —- IJF

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