2023 World Judo Championships Doha

2023 World Judo Championships Doha

A Tradition of Excellence

The 2023 World Judo Championships were held at the Ali Bin Hamad al-Attiyah Arena in Doha, Qatar over the past week. As always, the holy grail of the IJF World Tour brought us familiar champions and new champions to the judo community.

Day 1 of the World Championships kicked off with two lightest divisions that judo has to offer. No surprises early on as Natsumi Tsunoda of Japan claimed her third consecutive world title at -48kg. Tsunoda was dominant throughout the day winning all of her matches by way of ippon and never surrendering a single point to her opponents. France's world number 1, Shirine Boukli, made her mark at her first World Championships taking home the silver medal.

In the -60kg division there was plenty of drama to be held. Naohisa Takato of Japan was the favorite heading into the competition as he looked to add a 5th world championship to his already incredible resume. As early as the second round we found our first upset for the division when French Olympic bronze medallist, Mkheidze, was knocked out in a thrilling contest with Jorre Verstraeten (BEL). In the following round both world numbers 1 and 2, Yung Wei Yang (TPE) and Balabay Aghayev (AZE), were bounced from competition. In the end, a new world champion was crowned and it would be Francisco Garrigos of Spain taking home gold. Garrigos had a spectacular showing. He threw reigning world champion Takato (JPN) not once but twice in the semi final before taking home the gold in the final against Baratov (UZB). However, the drama does not end there. Following the upset against Garrigos, Takato was then again upset by Harim Lee (KOR) for the bronze medal.

During day 2 of competition olympic and world medallists were everywhere you looked and they did not disappoint. The IJF put it perfectly, “like so many World Judo Tour events of recent years, it was the Abe siblings, Uta and Hifumi, who stole the headlines once more for Japan.” Hifumi turned in another dominant performance not allowing a single point to be scored on him throughout the competition. In the finals, he met up with his teammate and fellow multiple time world champion, Joshiro Maruyama, who took home the silver medal. The bronze medals at -66kg were won by Walide Khyar (FRA) and Bashkuu Yondonperenlei (MGL); these were their first and second medals at a world championships. Uta reminded us of the amazing newaza prowess of the Japanese women. Once again, the Hifumi siblings took home gold medals.

If you thought the first day of competition was dramatic you could not fathom what would have happened on day 3. The drama started early and didn’t stop until the final ‘soremade’ was called. Defending world champions Rafaela Silva (BRA) and Tsogtbaatar Tsend-Ochir (MGL) both exited competition in the early rounds. Silva was knocked out in her first contest by World ranking number 61, Hazret Bozturk (TUR), who went on to take 5th place. Tsend-Ochir was bounced in round 3 by Ressaoud Medouane Dris (ALG), who finished 7th. The two giant slayers can chalk this one up as one of their career best performances. Nils Stump became the first swiss judoka ever to win a world title.

As usual, day 4 of the World Judo Championships featured the hyper competitive -63kg and -81kg divisions set to take the tatami. After sitting out the 2022 Worlds, France’s Clarisse Agbegnenou made her return this time as an unseeded contestant. Making her second appearance on the IJF World Tour since the birth of her daughter last year, the already 5-time world champion, made history becoming the 5th judoka ever to win six world champion gold medals! Andreja Leski of Slovenia took home the silver medal in a repeat of 2021. Overall, 7 of the top 8 seeds in the -63kg division before the quarter-final. The bronze medals were taken home by two judoka with a combined 41 years, Joanne Van Lieshout (NED) and Szofi Ozbas (HUN).

The always outstanding -81kg category featured a can not miss finale. 2021 world champion Matthias Casse (BEL) and 2022 world champion Tato Grigalashvili (GEO) for a third year in a row. Casse took home the gold in 2021 and Grigalashvili took the gold in 2022. The 23 year old Georgian proved he is only just getting started. He dominated the contest from start to finish, scoring a waza-ari to bring the gold medal back to Georgia for a third year in a row. Bronze medals were taken home by Tokyo Olympic champion Takanori Nagase (JPN) and 2-time grand slam winner Joonhwan Lee (KOR). Nagase takes home his third world champion medal and Lee earns his first ever.

Not many surprises to be held on day 5 of competition in the -70kg category. Japan’s Saki Niizoe took the gold, defeating Germany’s Giovanna Scoccimarro in the final. Scoccimarro claimed her first senior world medal. Bronze medals were taken home by Barbara Matic (CRO) and Michaela Polleres (AUT) who took home her second world bronze medal back in Austria.

The final at -90kg featured two Georgian judoka for the first time at the Judo World Championships. Tokyo olympic champion Lasha Bekauri and two-time world bronze medallist Luka Maisuradze met once again in a repeat of the 2023 Tbilisi Grand Slam which saw Bekauri as the victor. However, Maisuradze would go on to become the 7th Georgian in history to win the World Championships. Sanshiro Murao (JPN) took home his first ever world medal and Marcus Nyman (SWE) got his second. Booth took home the bronze medal.

Day 6 brought together some brilliant judo from both the -78kg and the -100kg categories. A new surprise world champion was crowned at -78kg. Israel’s Inbar Lanir defeated 2011 world champion Audrey Tcheumeo of France in the final. World number 1 Alice Bellandi of Italy settled for bronze and was joined by a veteran competitor for the Netherlands, Guusje Steenhuis.

At -100kg, a new world champion was crowned as well. Former world number 1, Arman Adamian (AIN) secured the gold medal by defeating the Czech legend, Lukas Krpalek in the final. He was met with a challenge early on in the drawing, taking on the world number one at -100kg, Ilia Sulamanidze of Georgia. Zelym Kotsoiev (AZE) takes home his second world bronze medal after reaching the podium in Tashkent in 2022. Kotsoiev also defeated Ilia Sulamanidze to reach the bronze medal match. Israel secured their second medal of the day when Peter Paltchik took home his first ever world medal, the second bronze medal of the day.

At the end of competition following day 7 of the World Judo Championships, as always (it seems), it was Akira Sone and Teddy Riner, Japan and France, taking home the gold medals for +78kg and +100kg. At only 22 years old, Sone takes home her second world title for Japan defeating France’s Julia Tolofua in the final. Tolofua did one better than last year's world championships where she garnered bronze in Tashkent. World number 1 Raz Hershko of Israel took home the bronze medal to earn her first world championship medal. The second bronze medal was won by Beatriz Souza (BRA), who took home her third ever world championship medal.

10 time world champion from France, Teddy Riner, made his return to the world championship tatami after a six year hiatus. He proved he is still the best in the business, taking home his extraordinary 11th world championship gold. He beat Inal Tasoev (AIN) in a dramatic final and Tasoev’s silver is his first world medal. The bronze medals were won by 36-year-old Rafael Silva, his 4th world medal, and Alisher Yusupov (UZB), a first world medal for him.

The World Judo Championships is always a spectacle to behold. There are always surprises. Reigning champions go down, new champions arise, and former champions make their return with something to prove. Check out the full results at the conclusion of the competition down below.

2023 Doha World Judo Championships Results:

  1. Japan - 5 Gold, 2 Silver, 4 Bronze
  2. France - 2 Gold, 3 Silver, 2 Bronze
  3. Georgia - 2 Gold, 1 Silver, 1 Bronze
  4. Israel - 1 Gold, 2 Bronze

Mens Divisions


  1. Francisco Garrigos (ESP)
  2. Dilshodbek Baratov (UZB)
  3. Giorgi Sardalashvili (GEO)
  4. Harim Lee (KOR)


  1. Hifumi Abe (JPN)
  2. Joshiro Maruyama (JPN)
  3. Walide Khyar (FRA)
  4. Baskhuu Yondonperenlei (MGL)


  1. Nils Stump
  2. Manuel Lombardo (ITA)
  3. Murodjon Yuldoshev (UZB)
  4. Soichi Hashimoto (JPN)


  1. Tato Grigalashvili (GEO)
  2. Matthias Casse (BEL)
  3. Takanori Nagase (JPN)
  4. Joonhwan Lee (KOR)


  1. Luka Maisuradze (GEO)
  2. Lasha Bekauri (GEO)
  3. Marcus Nyman (SWE)
  4. Sanshiro Murao (JPN)


  1. Arman Adamian (AIN)
  2. Lukas Krpalek (CZE)
  3. Zelym Kotsoiev (AZE)
  4. Peter Paltchik (ISR)


  1. Teddy Riner (FRA)
  2. Inal Tasoev (AIN)
  3. Alisher Yusupov (UZB)
  4. Rafael Silva (BRA)

Womens Divisions


  1. Natsumi Tsunoda (JPN)
  2. Shirine Boukli (FRA)
  3. Assunta Scutto (ITA)
  4. Wakana Koga (JPN)


  1. Uta Abe (JPN)
  2. Diyora Keldiyorova (UZB)
  3. Amandine Buchard (FRA)
  4. Odette Giuffrida (ITA)


  1. Christa Deguchi (CAN)
  2. Haruka Funakubo (JPN)
  3. Jessica Klimkait (CAN)
  4. Enkhriilen Lkhagvatogoo (MGL)


  1. Clarisse Agbegnenou (FRA)
  2. Andreja Leski (SLO)
  3. Szofi Ozbas (HUN)
  4. Joanne Van Lieshout (NED)


  1. Saki Niizoe (JPN)
  2. Giovanna Scoccimarro (GER)
  3. Michaela Polleres (AUT)
  4. Barbara Matic (CRO)


  1. Inbar Lanir (ISR)
  2. Audrey Tcheumeo (FRA)
  3. Guusje Steenhuis (NED)
  4. Bellandi Alice (ITA)


  1. Akira Sone (JPN)
  2. Julia Tolofua (FRA)
  3. Beatriz Souza (BRA)
  4. Raz Hershko (ISR)

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