The latest Judo News offered by

January peakers come back when needed

27 Jan 2016 14:47

   IJF Media Team / International Judo Federation
20110827_Paris_MIKHAYLIN, Alexander (RUS) (2)

Since a few years the Continental Open of Sofia is one of the first Qualification events of the year. This year The African Open in Tunis and Grand Prix of Havana were already held before Havana, even still in January. Also last year Tunis had the premier of the season. Which athletes are the topscorers in January?

In 2013 there wasn’t any Qualification event in January, nor in 2006, 2001 over the last 20 years. This year Marie Eve Gahie top the last with most medals after two events. She won bronze last week in Havana and took the gold Tunis. Belgian Ilse Heylen won silver in Havana, she is always among the early birds. The 2004 Olynmpic medallist won her 51st international medal this week, a great milestone, three victories were achieved in January. In 2004 she won The Super A-tournament in Moscow and the A-tournament in Sofia and in 2005 she also won Sofia, all held in the first month.

Other early birds were Russian Elena Ivaschenko, RIP. She won three gold medals in Moscow and twice in Sofia. Georgian Zaza Kedelashvili was the traditional triple winner in Tbilisi in January, now held as Grand Prix in March. Same counts for Zurab Zviaduari of Georgia. His golden Olympic colleague Irakli Tsirekidze took three silver medals in Tbilisi, but we must admit he compensated that with grace.

Among the topscorers was Alexander Mikhailin. In his long career he won Moscow three times in January and once in Tbilisi. In the women’s division Petra Nareks was always in shape in January. Four victories; Two in Sofia, Moscow and Tunis last year. Her compatriot Lucija Polavder won three times in Sofia, but she also took three silver medals in Sofia and Moscow.

The absolute January topscorer is Russian Islam Matsiev who won 5 ‘World Tour’ events over the last 20 years starting in 1996. He won the International tournament of Moscow, in fact now the current Grand Slam of Tyumen 5 times!

Follow JudoInside this weekend with the Euro Open in Sofia... still in January.

Related judoka and events


Related Judo Photos

  • Ilse Heylen (BEL) - Grand Prix Havana (2016, CUB) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation
  • Zurab Zviadauri (GEO) - Grand Slam Paris (2012, FRA) - © Christian Fidler
  • Urska Zolnir (SLO), Petra Nareks (SLO) - European Games Baku teams (2015, AZE) - © European Judo Union / EJU, Copyright:

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