The latest Judo News offered by

Abu Dhabi Grand Slam hosts top stars in women's judo

25 Oct 2017 16:10

   IJF Media Team / International Judo Federation

The Abu Dhabi Grand Slam this week will feature a number of interesting ingredients looking at the women’s division. World Champions Sumiya Sorjsuren (MGL) and Mayra Aguiar (BRA) will be fighting. Abu Dhabi Title defenders Otgontsetseg Galbadrakh (KAZ), Guusje Steenhuis (NED) and Maria Suelen Altheman (BRA) are present and Olympic Champions Paula Pareto (ARG) and Rafaela Silva (BRA) will show their best. Furthermore some nice comeback such as Laura Vargas Koch who had been injured for a long time.

Women U48kg

Rio 2016 Olympic champion Paula Pareto (ARG) competes in her first Grand Slam since 2014 and will be targeting a second Grand Slam win and first in five years. Pareto, 31, who won the Rio Grand Slam in 2012, returned to the IJF World Judo Tour in September with a bronze medal at the Zagreb Grand Prix and will expect to star in the U.A.E. Olympic and world bronze medallist Otgontsetseg Galbadrakh (KAZ) is a two-time Grand Slam winner and will be a force to be reckoned with on day one. Four-time Grand Slam medallist Milica Nikolic (SRB) has never won a Grand Slam but will be hard pressed to change that this weekend with such a talent-laden field but this is judo and we know that anything can happen.

Women U52kg

World number three Erika Miranda (BRA) took bronze at the World Championships in August and has topped the medal podium at a Grand Slam on four occasions. The Brazilian judoka from the Judo Sogipa academy starts as the top seed and favourite in Abu Dhabi ahead of Cancun Grand Prix bronze medallist Angelica Delgado (USA), Tashkent Grand Prix bronze medallist Charline Van Snick (BEL) and European Championships bronze medallist Joana Ramos (POR).

Women U57kg

World champion Dorjsuren Sumiya (MGL) and Rio 2016 Olympic champion Rafaela Silva (BRA) will both see action in the -57kg category in Abu Dhabi. While Silva beat Dorjsuren in the Olympic final in Rio de Janeiro it’s the Mongolian who has since usurped the Brazilian and everyone at -57kg to rule the world for her country. Olympic bronze medallist Telma Monteiro (POR) and world bronze medallist Nekoda Smythe-Davis (GBR) will be in contention while former Tokyo Grand Slam bronze medallist Christa Deguchi returns from the wilderness to make her debut for Canada. The 21-year-old won Grand Prix, Grand Slam and Junior Worlds medals for her native Japan but has decided to switch to represent Canada to boost her chances of competing at an Olympic Games and has completed her two-year grace period after being released by the All Japan Judo Federation. She is opposed to world champion Sumiya Dorjsuren as a tough start.

Women U63kg

Tashkent Grand Prix winner Kathrin Unterwurzacher (AUT) will be bidding for a Grand Slam gold medal hat-trick this weekend and starts as the top seed. At the same time the Austrian Championships take place but a small team preferred the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam as well as Magdalena Krssakova. The world number three Unterwurzacher has won the Baku and Tokyo editions and took silver in Abu Dhabi a year ago. Ekaterinburg Grand Slam bronze medallist Amy Livesey (GBR) has snuck up to sixth-place on the World Ranking List and the SKK Judo Club product could move higher with a medal finish on her Abu Dhabi debut. Antalya Grand Prix bronze medallist and world number 13 Katharina Haecker (AUS) will be keen to pick up points to solidify her place inside the top 16 which would guarantee an automatic entry to the season-ending World Judo Masters in December.

Women U70kg

Rio 2016 Olympic bronze medallist Laura Vargas Koch (GER) returns to the competition tatami for the first time since the Games and could make a winning return. Tbilisi Grand Prix winner and Rio 2016 Olympian Maria Portela (BRA) is the number one seed in the -70kg category. The five-time Grand Slam medallist took silver here last year and is more than capable of producing a similar finish in 2017. Tashkent Grand Prix bronze medallist Gercsak Szabina (HUN) could open her Grand Slam medal account on Friday which will also be the aim of world number 13 Assmaa Niang (MAR) who is a surprise inclusion in November’s Openweight World Championships. Triple European Champion Kim Polling (NED) is worth while watching as she opens against Brazils Barbara Timo who’s in shape.

Women U78kg

World champion Mayra Aguiar (BRA) bids for her fifth Grand Slam title and could run away with pole position in the -78kg rankings before the year is out. The 26-year-old double Olympic bronze medallist leads the rankings with Grand Slams, Grand Prix and a World Masters still on the calendar and Aguiar will be the overwhelming favourite every time her name enters the hat on the eve of the competition. World number two Natalie Powell (GBR) became the first Welsh judoka to win a World Championships medal when she won bronze in August and has won silver and bronze medals on the Grand Slam stage but is still seeking an elusive gold. Former world number one Guusje Steenhuis (NED) suffered an early exit at the Worlds and will look to bounce back at the first attempt to retain her 2016 Abu Dhabi Grand Slam title.

Women +78kg

Baku Grand Slam winner Tessie Savelkouls (NED) starts as the top seed but world bronze medallist Iryna Kindzerska (AZE) will be out to win her first gold medal for Azerbaijan and Tashkent Grand Prix bronze medallist Sarah Adlington (GBR) has more medal aspirations amid her best ever run on the IJF World Judo Tour. Maria Suelen Altheman of Brazil defends last year's title.

Read the preview for men.

Related judoka and events

Related Judo Photos

  • Mayra Aguiar (BRA),  PERSEVERANCE (IJF) - World Championships Budapest (2017, HUN) - © JudoHeroes & IJF, Copyright:
  • Sumiya Dorjsuren (MGL),  PERSEVERANCE (IJF) - World Championships Budapest (2017, HUN) - © JudoHeroes
  • Laura Vargas Koch (GER) - 2016 Olympic Games day 5 Judo U90kg & U70kg (2016, BRA) - © JudoHeroes

Related Judo Videos

Related Judo News


Larissa Pimenta shows her golden shape in Lima

26 Apr 2019 10:35

Brazil had a strong start of the Pan American Championships in Lima as expected. With five places in the final resulting in two gold medals Brazilian judo has opened his campaign Read more


Preview Pan American Judo Championships Lima

24 Apr 2019 10:35

Brazil and Canada seemed to be the two most dominant nations in this moment at the forthcoming Judo Pan American Championships held in Lima, Peru, this week. The Pan Americans are strong at level in both heavyweight categories but perhaps the most eye-catching division in for women U57kg. However Jessica Klimkait will be missing in Lima, so no Canadian clash, but perhaps Christa Deguchi and Rafaela Silva may battle as highest seeded players. Read more


Olympic champion Paula Pareto goes unbeaten in Ekaterinburg

14 Mar 2019 14:10

Beijing 2008 Olympic bronze medallist and Rio 2016 Olympic champion Paula Pareto (ARG) defeated Marrakech Grand Prix winner Julia Figueroa (ESP) in golden score to win her second Grand Slam title. The Argentine veteran marginally outworked her Spanish opponent who received her third shido in added time to hand the gold medal to Pareto. Read more


Appealing contests for women at Grand Slam Ekaterinburg

14 Mar 2019 11:00

The Grand Slam of Ekaterinburg booked a record number of participants. With 358 athletes of 47 nations saw by far more athletes this year compared to 2018 and 2017. Only the Grand Slams in Moscow attracted more judoka in 2010 (488) and 2011 (458). We will have a look at the women in Russia after the draw. The women U70kg counts 33 athletes, that happened only 5 times more in the IJF Tour. Read more


Handful of Olympic Champions in the field of Masters Guangzhou

13 Dec 2018 17:05

Five reigning Olympic champions and eight current world champions are among the 235 judoka from 53 countries who are all set for action at the season-ending World Judo Masters in Guangzhou, China on Saturday and Sunday. The field includes four 2016 Olympic Champions in their weight category. Obviously Lukas Krpalek is the fifth now fighting +100kg. Read more

Judo birthday

Result City Date
1Fukuoka7 Apr
1Düsseldorf22 Feb
Result City Date
2Fukuoka7 Apr
1Paris9 Feb


First description Second description Third description Four description