The latest Judo News offered by

Azerbaijan sets tone for 2018 with hopeful team

18 Aug 2017 10:10

 by Mark Pickering - IJF    IJF Media Team / International Judo Federation

2018 World Championships hosts Azerbaijan bid to make an impression with blend of youthful élan and wily vets in Budapest. Azerbaijan have picked arguably their most complete and capable team of all time for the World Championships.

Rio 2016 Olympic silver medallists Rustam Orujov and Elmar Gasimov lead the team and are backed up by European champions Elkhan Mammadov and Hidayat Heydarov. Their women’s ranks are making progress with eight selected including a trio of judoka who previously represented Mongolia.

Azerbaijan are making strikes at the cadet and youth level and are investing heavily in bringing their women’s programme up to the level of their world-renowned men’s team.

From the flair of 20-year-old Heydarov and the intelligence and grace of Orujov, there is steel and grit from Gasimov and Mammadov and determination from their women to come out of the shadow of their male teammates and prove themselves on the world stage.

This means that Azerbaijan will also have a major part to play in the first Mixed Team Event and could go all the way on the final day in Budapest.

Azerbaijan and the familiar IJF World Judo Tour host city of Baku will learn lessons from Budapest on and off the tatami and on 3 September the IJF flag will be passed to the Azeri delegation with just under a year until the judo family reconvenes in the land of fire for the 2018 instalment of the World Judo Championships.

Discover the best athletes from Azerbaijan in country profile.

Related judoka and events

Related Judo Photos

  • Hidayet Heydarov (AZE) - World Championships Budapest (2017, HUN) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation
  • Nijat Shikhalizada (AZE) - World Championships Budapest (2017, HUN) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation
  • Orkhan Safarov (AZE) - World Championships Budapest (2017, HUN) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation

Related Judo Videos

Related Judo News


Denis Vieru is the man on form U66kg

19 Jun 2019 17:15

This division is likely the most competitive in Europe and Minsk will give us the answer who are the real challengers of Abe and Maruyama at the World Championships. Denis Vieru is the man in the class U66kg given his performances so far this year. He is second seeded as Vazha Margvelashvili has been very consistent, although he haven’t seen him too much lately. Read more


Victorious Denis Vieru steals the show in Baku

10 May 2019 22:50

Paris Grand Slam winner Denis Vieru of Moldova won his second Grand Slam title of the season as he defeated Tashkent Grand Prix bronze medallist Nijat Shikhalizada (AZE). Vieru, 23, planted the veteran Azeri, 31, for ippon to propel himself even higher on the World Ranking List next week. Shikhalizada had to settle for silver while Moldova’s golden man won his third IJF event of the season from four outings. Read more


Spanish lightweights inspired by competition in Baku

10 May 2019 14:40

At the first day of the Grand Slam in Baku the Spanish team battles for the gold in a surprising category U48kg. Although Julia Figueroa dominates the class for years, new kids on the block have arrived and this time Laura Martinez Abelenda reached the final where she will battle for gold against Figueroa. Abelenda who was always so close to a medal at various age levels, now breaks through the barriers with a victory over Catarina Costa of Portugal. Read more


Slovenian Adrian Gomboc takes gold in Tashkent

9 Nov 2018 16:15

Adrian Gomboc showed he is back on track with a gold medal at the Grand Prix in Tashkent. He takes precious points and in Uzbekistan he defeated Uzbek home player Sardor Nurillaev against the number five of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and this year's European Champion. After a minute of observation, the first strong attack came from Nurillaev, with a drop-seoi-nage, which made the public immediately react, but for no score. Read more


Preview U66kg: Hifumi Abe poised to win gold, Israel has two chances

20 Sep 2018 22:10

The U66kg division is a huge one with many players in each pool. With 75 judoka the field is amazing. Only Paris 2011 had more (artificial) participants. It’s a quality field with the top players. But the absolute eyecatcher is Hifumi Abe of Japan. Read more

Judo birthday

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


First description Second description Third description Four description