Record number of participants for World Judo Championship in Abu Dhabi - GulfToday

Record number of participants for World Judo Championship in Abu Dhabi


682 athletes from 110 countries all set to take part in the event to be held at Mubadala Arena from Sunday.

Gulf Today, Sports Reporter

A record 682 judokas from 110 countries will be seen in action at the Abu Dhabi World Championships Seniors 2024 Individuals and Mixed Teams to be held in Abu Dhabi from May 19-24.

Organised by the International Judo Federation in close coordination with the UAE Judo Federation, the week-long competition witnessed last-minute registrations coming in from all parts of the world, with the number of athletes standing at 682 from 110 countries.

Of these, 362 will be men and another 320 will be women participating in seven different weight categories each, all vying for a share of the 1 million Euros total prize money on offer for the competition.

The last World Championships that were held in Doha attracted a field of 657 judokas from 99 countries.

In Abu Dhabi, the women will compete in the -48 kg, -52 kg, -57 kg, -63 kg, -70 kg, -78 kg and +78 kg weight categories, while the men will be in action in the -60 kg, -66 kg, -73 kg, -81 kg, -90 kg, -100 kg and +100 kg weight categories.

The UAE national team will be among the leading favourites along with strong contenders from France, Japan, Brazil, Canada along with Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Bahrain, Algeria and Tunisia.

The World Championships in Abu Dhabi will be a proud host to one of the legends of the sport of Judo, Frenchman Teddy Riner, who holds the distinction of being the youngest and the oldest world champion.

Riner became the youngest world champion when he won at the 2007 edition as an 18-year-old, and he also clinched gold at the 2023 championships in Doha last year to become the oldest champion at 34 years and 36 days.

Other prominent world champions who will be seen in action include Yang Yung-wei of Taiwan (-60kg), Matthias Casse of Belgium (-81kg), Tajikistan’s Temur Rakhimov (+100 kg), all in the men’s competition.

Confirmed so far in the women’s categories are Italy’s Assunta Scutto (-48kg), the Canadian duo of Christa Deguchi (-57kg) and Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard (-48kg) and Croatia’s Barbara Matic (-70kg).

Mohammed Bin Tha’aloob Saleem Al Darie, President of the UAE Judo Federation and Chairman of the Supreme Organising Committee was thrilled with the overwhelming response to the competition that has given the UAE a new certificate of excellence in hosting international sporting events.

“We extend our deepest thanks and gratitude to the wise leadership of the country for its support and comprehensive and insightful vision that has made the UAE one of the most important sporting destinations in the world. Led by its unique components such as security, tolerance and modern and advanced sports infrastructure, there has been a lot of support for national cadres who are gaining accumulated experience that will qualify them to manage such major tournaments with efficiency and professionalism,” Darie noted.

“The overwhelming response to the registration till the final hours of deadline reflects the keenness of all countries and players to participate in the competition. Not only have we been able to attract a record 110 countries, we have also managed to have most of the former and current world champions lining up for a slice of the action in Abu Dhabi,” he added.

Teams from across the world have been landing in Abu Dhabi and various national cadres have been working round the clock to ensure that everything works to precision during the build-up to the main competition on Sunday.

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