The latest Judo News offered by

Strong Korean women at European Open in Sofia

28 Jan 2016 10:05

Kim jan-Di

The first week of February is traditionally the period for the European Open in Sofia. But Sofia starts early this year, this weekend at 30 and 31 January Sofia is the centre of the Olympic qualification in judo where both men and women will fight in the Bulgarian capital. Last year when the Tournoi de Paris wasn’t held Sofia shifted a week. Last year the host nation enjoyed the victory of Ivelina Ilieva U57kg and there was bronze U60kg for Yanislav Gerchev and U81kg by Ivaylo Ivanov. This year Ivanov is ranked second in the seeding for Sofia behind Yakhyo Imamov, the 2013 Paris Grand Slam winner is taking the first seed.

The Bulgarian team is getting stronger but the competition this year will be tough. In 2015 the Japanese women’s team took four gold medals by Mako Uchio, Megumi Tsugane, Chizuru Arai and Rika Takayama, not the least fighters. Also an appealing name as Olympic champion Jae-Bum Kim won his category. Kim Jae-Bum was tenth ever winner of the in Sofia in the history since Sofia became an A-tournament / World Cup in 1989.

Dutch talent Michael Korrel seemed to develop well in 2015 starting in Sofia with gold U100kg. Silver was was this year's number one seed U100kg this Ramadan Darwish of Egypt.

In the women’s division Romanian will have a strong team with Monica Ungureanu starting U48kg, but she will have competition of Bo Kyeong Jeong of Korea. Kim Jan Di is separated from Loredana Ohai U57kg and Korean Bak JiYun will have strong chances for gold U63kg. Four Korean women are first seeded in Sofia with Kim Seong Yeon U70kg and Kim Min-Jeong +78kg. Last week’s bronze medallist in Havana U78kg Assunta Galeone is Italy is the highest seed U78kg.

Last year’s record of 51 nations will likely broken giving Sofia a strong start of 2016.

One of the top athletes in that history for Bulgaria was Georgi Georgiev. He won the event three times. On Saturday it’s Georgiev’s birthday and the Olympic medallist of 2004 will be happy to see a strong field.

The women dominate the records though and in particular Lucija Polavder (SLO) who won the tournament four times. The Slovenian team will again be strong with 12 men and 7 women.

Related judoka and events

Related Judo Photos

  • Maryna Cherniak (UKR), BoKyeong Jeong (KOR) - World Championships Astana (2015, KAZ) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation
  • Ji-Yun Bak (KOR) - Grand Prix Jeju (2013, KOR) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation
  • Min-Jeong Kim (KOR) - Grand Prix Qingdao (2015, CHN) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation

Related Judo News


Finally gold for Hedi Karakas in the World Tour

20 Sep 2019 17:30

Hungarian Hedvig Karakas was finally awarded with gold in the World Tour as she captured the first place U57kg after her victory against Bulgarian Iveline Ilieva. It is the experienced Karakas Hedvig of Hungary who won in Tashkent after a tactical fight that was essentially led by a kumikata battle. Under pressure from the two shidos she had received, the Hungarian did not lose focus and scored a waza-ari on sumi-gaeshi about thirty seconds from the end. Read more


Christa Deguchi writes history for Canada

27 Aug 2019 16:35

Canada has its world champion! Christa Deguchi starred in the U57kg category as the 2018 world bronze medallist won the world title from defending champion Yoshida Tsukasa (JPN) to make history for Canada. Montreal Grand Prix winner Deguchi, 23, was a teammate of Yoshida, also 23, until she switched from representing her homeland of Japan to Canada, the nationality of her father who was matside all day long as a photographer. Read more


Christa Deguchi wants to stunt in Japan

27 Aug 2019 11:45

Is it going to be a historic day for Canada. Christa Deguchi is eager to win the first ever world title for Canada on day three of the World Championships on Japanese soil. Obviously Japanese World champion Yoshida Tsukasa is the favourite as current title holder, but she lost to Deguchi in the final of the Grand Slam in Paris, so it’s all possible as the morning session was completed. Read more


Timna Nelson Levy grabs second gold for Israel

24 Jan 2019 18:35

Arguably the most exciting final to watch was the U57kg category final between Nelson Levy and Mezhetskaia where most of the crowd in Tel Aviv were on their feet or at least on the edge of their seats. Timna Nelson Levy of Israel defeated former Junior World Championships bronze medallist Daria Mezhetskaia (RUS) to steer her country to the top of the medal table. Read more

20160130_ArlonJ_Veronique Mandeng

France dominates first day European Cup Uster

10 Mar 2018 19:30

At the European Cup in Uster, close to Zurich, France leads the European Cup with three gold medals and 14 medals in total. With two all French finals, it was a domination by the French. Two finals though didn’t have any French contestant. Read more

Judo birthday

Result City Date
1Paris8 Feb
Result City Date
5Paris8 Feb


First description Second description Third description Four description