Judo World Championships day 4: three more World Champions

Judo World Championships day 4: three more World Champions

On day four of the Abu Dhabi World Judo Championships, Mr Jean-Luc Rougé was honoured with the prestigious judo 10th dan, marking a milestone in his illustrious career, awarded by IJF President Mr Marius Vizer.

The -70kg category produced an all French final. Margaux PINOT was determined all day with impressive judo.

But her compatriot Marie Eve GAHIE was also destined for the final after storming through the preliminaries.

Knowing each other so well, it was a cagey affair that went into golden score, but Gahie over reached and Pinot was primed to capitalise, countering her teammate for waza-ari and the World title.

They were presented their medals by His Excellency Mohammed Bin Thaaloob ALDEREI, President of the UAE Judo Federation.

“I’m world champion… that’s crazy, it was the first thing on my mind, I dreamt about this title when I was younger, I dreamt about becoming world champion because it’s a huge title for me," said PINOT.

In the -90kg category, 2017 world champion Nemanja MAJDOV took on the relatively unknown Goki TAJIMA.

They both looked solid throughout the preliminaries.

This final also ventured into golden score and it was TAJIMA who conjured up the power to score and cement his place in the history books.

4th President of Croatia & IOC Member Mrs Kolinda GRABAR-KITAROVIC awarded the medals.

“I always go for the win, but I also want to be an entertainer and that's what I tried to show today," said TAJIMA.

The -78kg final saw two fierce competitors lock horns.

Germany’s Anna-Maria WAGNER who was on top form and Italy’s Alice BELLANDI who was looking to claim her first world title.

In the final, the more experienced Wagner earned her second red backpatch by forcing Bellandi to submit.

CEO of MET Group Chairman, Mr Benjamin LAKATOS awarded WAGNER her gold medal.

“Right now I can't believe it, it was, the last three years were so a rollercoaster and this time again before the Olympics. This medal means a lot to me and it was a hard fight again for the Olympic ticket and I think now I can say I have it," said WAGNER.

In Abu Dhabi, the air was electric with excitement as athletes revel in the joy of qualifying for the Paris Olympic Games.