The latest Judo News offered by

Mareen Kraeh still fighting at top level U52kg

23 Jan 2016 00:05

   IJF Media Team / International Judo Federation
20160122_Havana_1_HEYLEN, Ilse (BEL)1KRAEH, Mareen (GER) - HEYLEN, Ilse (BEL)2

Germany’s Mareen Kraeh became the winner of the Grand Prix of Havana. She’s is still fighting in the top despite her 31 years. Kraeh belongs to the potential medallists for Rio in the experienced German women’s team. In the category U52kg she’s fighting for qualification with Romy Tarangul who was also in Havana, but Kraeh convinced once again and seems to make it to Rio this time.

In the final in Cuba she defeated Ilse Heylen of Belgium, 38 years herself. Together almost improved last year’s age record in a final when Heylen and Sundberg (32) met in Tbilisi. The 38-year-old Heylen showed once again that she has an incredible fighting spirit.

Kraeh was bronze medalist at the 2013 World Championships in Rio, and this week the top seeded athlete of the category and with no surprise entered the final after having successively defeated Ecaterina Guica (CAN), Evelyne Tschopp (SUI) and Joana Ramos (POR). Her coach and husband for ten years, Olivier Berghmans, declared just before the final: “It’s an incredible story for Ilse. With today’s results, gold or silver, she will probably have enough points to go to the Olympics. She feels super well. Of course we had to adapt the training and focus more on quality than on quantity and tomorrow she will have sore muscles, that’s for sure. I even have to slow her down sometimes. With today’s result, she is again super motivated.“

In the final, Ilse Heylen was rapidly thrown by Mareen Kraeh for waza-ari followed by an immobilisation for ippon. Nevertheless, Heylen’s performance is remarkable and the gold medal of Kraeh is well deserved.

The first bronze medal fight opposed Gretel Romero (CUB) and Odette Giuffrida of Italy. Both athletes having been penalised with a shido, looked ready to fight into the golden score when Giuffrida found a small opportunity with an opportunist ko-uchi-gari for yuko and for a medal.

In the second bronze medal contest, Adiyasambuu Tsolmon (MGL) faced Joana Ramos. After having scored a first yuko, Ramos was then penalised for escaping out of the fighting area. More active than her opponent, the Mongolian was finally able to throw Ramos with a kata-guruma for waza-ari, which the Portuguese replied also with a waza-ari. But that did not intimidate Adiyasambuu, who, with the same technique (kata-guruma) scored another yuko, which was revised as an ippon.

The last victory of Mareen Kraeh was at the Grand Prix in Budapest. It will give her a stable position on the top 10 of the World ranking where she’s yet at the eighth position.

Related judoka and events


Related Judo Photos

  • Ilse Heylen (BEL) - Grand Prix Havana (2016, CUB) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation
  • Mareen Kraeh (GER), Ilse Heylen (BEL), Odette Giuffrida (ITA), Tsolmon Adiyasambuu (MGL) - Grand Prix Havana (2016, CUB) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation
  • Mareen Kraeh (GER) - World Championships Astana (2015, KAZ) - © JudoHeroes

Related Judo Videos


Related Judo News


Sabrina Filzmoser (39) became the oldest ever medallist in the IJF World Tour

12 Jul 2019 23:50

Austrian star Sabrina Filzmoser made history on day one of the Budapest Grand Prix as the veteran won -57kg bronze to edge closer to Tokyo 2020 qualification. The 2005 and 2010 world bronze medallist, who turns 40 next year, replaced Belgium’s Ilse Heylen (38) as the oldest medallist in IJF World Judo Tour history. Read more

20160206_Paris_ELP_Ilse Heylen

Flemish Judo Federation appoints Olivier Berghmans as TD

23 Dec 2017 13:10

The Flemish Judo federation appointed Olivier Berghmans as technical director. Berghmans was personal trainer of one of the most successful athletes of this century Ilse Heylen and has a wide international experience, vision and management capabilities to function in his new role. Read more

20160206_Paris_ELP_Ilse Heylen

Ilse Heylen declines IJF invitation to participate in Rio

4 Aug 2016 11:20

Ilse Heylen got an invitation by the IJF to compete at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. However without any preparation she cancelled this invitation and is in fact back to the day she missed the Olympic Games. The wounds are open again after her missed chance for her fourth Olympic Games, but the IJF simply invited Heylen who's first on the list of the continental quota. It's not an IJF demand to replace an injured athlete but a procedure to stick upon the Olympic quota. Read more

20160206_Paris_ELP_Ilse Heylen

Judo veteran Ilse Heylen: From heaven to hell at Friday the 13th

13 May 2016 22:30

Big differences today between medal winning athletes and those who came to the conclusion that Rio is far away, or so far away that another Olympic dream remains a dream. For Belgian veteran Ilse Heylen Friday the 13th seems to be the abrupt end of her long career. The 39 year old triple Olympian was on her way to her fourth Olympics when her development this year got stuck. Today her last defense lines was broken by the success of Swiss surprise Evelyne Tschopp who passed Heylen by her golden performance. Read more


Kazan Judo Preview U52kg: Kelmendi and Chitu set the tone

20 Apr 2016 12:05

The weight division for women U52kg has become more competitive. In the past it was a rather boring category, but the Europeans have taken over with Majlinda Kelmendi of Kosovo as strong favourite, but also other athletes developed well. Andreea Chitu of Romania is one of the most experienced in the field and delivered some incredible performances. Chitu will face Laura Gomez or Distria Krasniqi, not the easiest starting match. Kelmendi truly has an easy pool and will walk straight to the semi final without wasting energy. Read more

Judo birthday

Result City Date
1Tokyo1 Sep
1Tokyo27 Aug
1Fukuoka7 Apr
1Düsseldorf22 Feb
Result City Date
1Tokyo1 Sep
1Montreal5 Jul
2Fukuoka7 Apr
1Paris9 Feb


First description Second description Third description Four description