One of the most exciting dates on the Judo tour, the mixed team World Championships, took place today in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
Travelling Judo fans and local enthusiasts alike flooded the Humo Arena to witness the final electric day of Judo.
Every single Mixed Team Championships since its inception in 2017 has seen judo giants Japan in the final, and since 2018 they have met the powerhouse nation of France each time. With a 3-0 record going into the Olympics, France turned the tables and became Mixed Team Olympic Champions.
Today, Japan came to reclaim the top spot. And they started well, Goki Tajima went ahead with a waza-ari score against France’s Mathieu, and then solidified the victory with a fantastic Ippon, 1-0 to Japan.
France’s recently crowned World Champion Romane Dicko didn’t waste any time leveling the score, defeating the World Bronze Medallist, Tomita, to make it 1-1.
Ota Hyoga achieved two waza-ari scores to claim the men’s heavyweight win against Joseph Terhec. But once again France came out strong, this time Olympic medallist Sarah Leonie Cysique catching Funakubo for two great waza-ari scores. 2-2. The heat was on.
All square and all to play for
Japan’s Harada Kenshi held down France’s Gaba, and once again Japan edged ahead 3-2. So France turned to their former World Champion Marie Eve Gahie, who stepped out against World Bronze Medallist, Niizoe Saki, a fight everyone was on the edge of their seat for.
It was the Japanese judoka that came out on top though, a fantastic performance from Niizoe, that saw her win the decisive fight, making the score 4-2.
This statistic meant that Japan has taken every single World Team Gold since the team event became mixed; the only medal to still evade them is the Olympic Gold.
Dr. Laszlo Toth, IJF Vice President, and EJU President awarded the mixed team gold medals.
Japan dominate World Team Titles
Five World Team Titles to Japan, but in the build-up to Paris 2024, this will put France on high alert. Defending Olympic title cpould be a mammoth task.
The same four nations at the Olympic Games, were on the podium again today. This time it was silver for France and bronzes for team Germany and team Israel.
“I knew I had a really important role because I was first up on the mat but I was able to do my judo and it really showed on the mat.” Said a proudGoki Tajima.
“Mr. Harada passed down the torch to me, and I knew that I had the responsibility to finish for team Japan, and I’m so happy I did so.” Said a beaming Niizoe Saki.
Uzbekistan Judo Federation President, Mr. Azizjon Kamilov, Jean-Luc Rougé, General Secretary of the IJF, and Eid Ali Almuraikhi, General Secretary of the Qatar Judo Federation gathered to pass the IJF flag, to open what will be a historic World Championships in Doha in May 2023.
It was a great honour for the IJF to host the World Championships in Tashkent, one of the new prospering countries of the world, fully engaged in reforms in the economy, society, sport, and culture! This is a country of innovation, digitalisation, and hospitality as well as a place that is attractive to international investors.
Thank you, Tashkent!