After signing head coach and Olympic champion Yvonne Bönisch at the beginning of 2021, the Austrian Judo Association has announced the next coaching surprise: Brazilian Felipe Kitadai is to be installed as the junior national coach (U21 & U23).
The 32-year-old Kitadai was a competitor and friend of Austrian trailblazer Ludwig Paischer. Paischer was among the opponents that he fought most as well as Ashley McKenzie, Ganbat Boldbaatar, Nabor Castillo and Aaron Kunihiro who was his most frequent opponent.
His track record is impressive: Kitadai won Olympic bronze in 2012 in London (U60 kg), bronze at the 2019 World Championships in Tokyo (in the mixed team competition) and is a two-time Pan-American champion (2011, 2015) . Kitadai announced his retirement of his sporting career at the end of last year. Now he is about to start his coaching career in Austria.
At the weekend, Felipe Kitadai was announced with a visit of the head office in Vienna. The judo association hopes that the official channels will soon be concluded positively.
Sports Director Markus Moser and President Martin Poiger are convinced: "Felipe would be an ideal choice as a youth national coach and the perfect addition to Yvonne's (Bönisch) coaching team. He has trained countless times alongside Sabrina Filzmoser and Ludwig Paischer in Austria and knows most of our young talents from the Randori training together.”
Felipe Kitadai of Brazil won the Olympic Games bronze in London 2012. He finished seventh at the 2016 Olympic Games. Kitadai won gold at the Pan American Games in 2011 and silver in 2015 in Toronto. He competed at World Championships since 2010, 5th in 2015. He won the PanAm Championships six times 2011-2016 and he was World Military Champion in 2015. He claimed the gold medal at the Grand Slam in Baku in 2019 and World Mixed team bronze in Tokyo in 2019. He retired in 2021 and will now likely become a junior coach in Austria.