The latest Judo News offered by

The 5 biggest male judo breakthroughs of 2018

27 Dec 2018 15:35

   IJF Media Team / International Judo Federation

Who are the ten groundbreaking talents who really emerged this year, at any level? We closely watched judoka born from 1998 onwards. Some of the most absolutely amazing stars of this year, such as Sherazadishvili, Igolnikov or Gjakova had already experienced their breakthroughs, but nonetheless had their best year ever and are expected to develop further.

Even if all of the below judoka will be well-known to us in the near future, it is worthwhile to list them in this top selection. We also took 5 different countries.

Inal Tasoev (RUS)

Russian heavyweight Inal Tasoev became Junior World Champion in Zagreb in 2017 and claimed the Grand Slam of Abu Dhabi in a spectacular four seconds contest against Lukas Krpalek. He had already won the Grand Prix in Antalya this year. He had a significant influence in the team event of the World Team Championships where the Russian team took bronze. It is very likely that he will be the future pick as Russian heavyweight despite all the competition.

Stephan Hegyi (AUT)

Tasoev knows Austrian Stephan Hegyi very well as they battled a few times in major events. The Austrian talent took his second silver medal at the Junior World Championships and took silver at the Grand Prix in Budapest this year. Despite his fondness for silverware, he claimed a bronze medal at the senior European Championships, another statement, and it is fair to say that he is knocking on the door at the senior level.

Gela Zaalishvili (GEO)

You cannot deny the abundance of big talent in the heavyweights. Yes, the competition maybe smaller in number compared to other categories, but this year Georgian super talent Gela Zaalishvili won the 2018 Junior world title in Nassau as well as the European Junior title. He finished with bronze at the European U23s.

Bilal Ciloglu (TUR)

Building on last year’s silver World Junior medal, Turkish judoka Bilal Ciloglu continued his success and won gold this year in Nassau. Ciloglu won European Championships bronze in 2018 in Tel Aviv. One of the best Turkish male talents ever, he won the Grand Prix of Agadir in March in a loaded class U73kg. He is busy with a major breakthrough and continuation of the success in his youth.

Zelim Kotsoiev (AZE)

Very likely Zelim Kotsoiev could have prolonged his Junior world title this year at the Bahamas, but he was ill and cancelled. The Azeri still won the Grand Prix of Antalya and captured bronze at the European Championships in a very competitive category U100kg. This is exactly the reason we have to wait until he gets grip at senior level, but the bronze in Tel Aviv promised a lot.

We will publish the five female breakthroughs soon

Fundraising with GoGetFunding

Related judoka and events

Related Judo Photos

  • Bilal Ciloglu (TUR) - World Championships Juniors Nassau (2018, BAH) - © JudoHeroes
  • Zelym Kotsoiev (AZE) - World Championships Juniors Zagreb (2017, CRO) - © Oliver Sellner
  • Gela Zaalishvili (GEO), Stephan Hegyi (AUT) - World Championships Juniors Nassau (2018, BAH) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation

Related Judo Videos

Related Judo News


Judo in the time of Covid-19: Bilal Ciloglu

5 May 2020 14:40

Perhaps the biggest talent of Turkey ever, Bilal Ciloglu became Junior World Champion in 2018 and for sure he will qualify for the Games, but he wants more, why not in 2021. Turkey closed quite late for the coronacrisis, Oon Yeoh of JudoCrazy asked him how he is doing and all about his ambitions and weapons. Read more


Super talent Bilal Ciloglu claims first Grand Slam for Turkey

25 Oct 2019 18:25

Bilal Ciloglu produced the best display of his young career as he defeated world number eight Arthur Margelidon (CAN) to claim the U73kg title in Abu Dhabi and became the first Turkish man to win Grand Slam gold. The world number 17 from Turkey, who was in his first Grand Slam final, came up with the only score in the first men’s final of the day as he caught Margelidon with a ko-uchi-gake for a waza-ari score with 20 seconds left on the clock. Read more


Khikmatillokh Turaev defends Tashkent gold with success

21 Sep 2019 16:05

Once Khikmatillokh Turaev proved to be the strongest in his category U73kg with a victory at the home Grand Prix in Tashkent where he prolonged his title and defeated Behruzi Khojazoda (TJK) in the final. Despite the support of the entire public, the Uzbek seemed very quickly helpless against the ardor of the Tajik who thanks to a superb ippon-ko-uchi-gari, scoring waza-ari, took the lead of the final. Read more


Shohei Ono looks concentrated, Azeri men eager to stunt

27 Aug 2019 11:25

In the Preliminaries at the World Championships in Tokyo not so many surprises in the men;s U73kg. Most of the favourites qualified or simply had tough opponents. In pool C opt favourite and Olympic champion Shohei Ono Shohei breezed into the last four with an effortless display as he won all four of his bouts by ippon. Read more


Turkey’s Ciloglu breaks Japanese resistance to go one better than 2017 silver

19 Oct 2018 08:00

Turkish top talent Bilal Ciloglu showed his maturity and top level experience by coming from behind to defeat a Japanese judoka in a major final which is an extremely rare feat. Read more

Judo birthday

Result City Date
2Düsseldorf21 Feb
Result City Date
1Düsseldorf21 Feb


First description Second description Third description Four description