World U20: Report Day 1

The first day of the 14th World Junior Judo Championships showed a high quality level of combats, fair play and real judo. With the help of new testing rules (such as no more koka, three minutes golden score and repechage for the quarter-finals losers only), the scene was taken by ippons (54 in total, more than 50% of the fights) and young judo players showing their faces to the international world for the first time. Or, in case of Frenchmen Teddy Riner, being crowned in a major event for the fourth time in only three years: gold in 2006 at the World Junior Championships, gold in 2007 at the World Senior Championships, bronze at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and gold once again at the World Junior this Thursday (23rd October) in Bangkok.


«Although it is pretty much different than with the Seniors, I had lots of pleasure in fighting this World Championships. I see the opponents respect me. but as soon as they enter the mat, they try everything to beat me», said Riner. «I was very concentrated and I knew everything I had to do to get this medal», completed the double world junior champion.


Japan was on the spotlight taking place in two out of three finals of the day and winning three medals in total, showing a new and strong generation coming to maintain its judo tradition: +100kg (Masaru Momose, silver), -52kg (Chiho Kagaya, gold) and -48kg (Yumi Asaka, bronze). Athletes from ten countries got medals in this opening day: Brazil, China, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Japan (3), Netherlands, Russia and Turkey.


Brazilian Sarah Menezes had an astonishing presentation to get her first world junior gold: four ippons, one wazari. Early this year, she got bronze at the Budapest World Cup and represented Brazil at the Beijing Olympic Games.


«It certainly helped me a lot to compete in World Cups and Olympics before coming here. I was more relaxed and confident», said the 18 year old Brazilian.


At the Opening Ceremony, Thailand brought to the world a bit of its culture and history, with music, dancing and colored costumes.


«Our aim is to promote our sport and culture and show to the world the beautiful scenario and all the potential we have in our country», said the Governor of the Sports Authority of Thailand, Mr. Kanokphand Chulakasem.


«This is one of the greatest opportunities we had ever had in Thailand», agreed the President of the Thai Judo Federation, Mr. Hassabodin Rojanachiva.


International Judo Federation President, Mr. Marius Vizer, thanked the hosts of this 14th World Junior Championships.


«It is an honor to organize a World Championships in Thailand for the first time. Thank you for the hospitality and friendship of the Thai people», said Mr Vizer.


Concerning the rules, IJF Refereeing Director, Mr. Juan Barcos, was happy with the first day of testings.


«It seems everybody liked it. They brought more dynamic to the contests. We had more than 50% of the fights won by ippon. The real spirit of judo was there», said Mr. Barcos.




1. Sarah Menezes (BRA)

2. Derya Cibir (TUR)

3. Yumi Asaka (JPN)

3. Glynis Rojot (NED)

5. Alexandra Podryadova (KAZ)

5. Violeta Dumitru (ROU)



1. Chiho Kagaya (JPN)

2. Shahar Levy (ISR)

3. Barbara Maros (HUN)

3. Susi Zimmermann (GER)

5. Samantha Clark (GBR)

5. Marta Ruban (POL)



1. Teddy Riner (FRA)

2. Masaru Momose (JPN)

3. Magomed Nazhmudinov (RUS)

3. Hao Wang (CHN)

5. Sugarjargal Boldpurev (MGL)

5. Mykhaylo Blinov (UKR)