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The retired athletes of 2016 can enjoy their new life
31 Dec 2016 12:50
2016 is over. An Olympic year with lots of spectacular titles, heroes, losses, victories and retirements. JudoInside.com wishes all judo fans a happy new year. Let the retired athletes have a year where they can enjoy their friends, families and our sport.
Kayla Harrison (26) is double Olympic judo Champion from the USA in 2012 and 2016. Harrison won the World title in 2010 in Tokyo and she won bronze in 2011 and 2014. Panam Championships and Games Champion in 2011 and 2015. Grand Slam Tokyo gold in 2015 and Masters in 2016. Most successful ever judoka of the USA.
Trivia: Since 2000 only a select number of athletes won two Olympic titles: Nomura, Tani, Uchishiba, Tanimoto, M. Ueno, Xian, Harrison, Riner.
Ilias Iliadis (30) became the youngest ever Olympic male Champion in 2004, aged 17. He won the European title in 2004 and added one in 2011. Foremost he won 3 world titles in 2010, 2011 and 2014 and 6 world medals. An icon in the world of judo.
Trivia: Iliadis was born in Georgia as Jarji Zviaduari, cousin of 2004 Olympic champion U90kg Zurab Zviaduari. He won more World titles than Grand Slams or Grand Prix events.
Yuka Nishida (30) became World Champion in 2010 in Tokyo and world silver in 2011. 2007 World bronze medallist. Won the Junior world title in 2004 in Budapest. She won the Grand Slam in Paris in 2012. She won the Kodokan Cup in 2014 and 2015 and Grand Prix in Qingdao in 2015. Daughter of Takahiro Nishida.
Trivia: Nishida was one of the most successful winners at Grand Slams where she won in five different cities.
Akimoto Hiroyuki (30) became World Champion in 2010 in Tokyo U73kg. He won the Grand Slam of Paris and Tokyo in 2015. Hiroyuki Akimoto claimed the Junior world title in 2004 in Budapest. Akimoto won the Asian Games in 2014 in Incheon and won the Asian Games in 2010 in Guangzhou.
Trivia: Akimoto was only World Ranking leader for twee weeks, in July 2010 he topped the U73kg ranking. He won the Tokyo Grand Slam three times.
Kim Jae Bum (31) is one of the most successful ever judoka for Korea. Kim became Olympic Champion in 2012 and was 2008 Olympic finallist. Both finals against Ole Bischof (GER). Kim was World Champion U81kg in 2010 and 2011 and won various Asian titles. Technician with very strong Seoi-nage.
Trivia: Throughout his career he had a win percentage of 86%. In the Olympic year 2012 he remained unbeaten.
Wang Ki-Chun (28) was Olympic finallist for Korea in 2008 against Elnur Mammadli (AZE). Wang was World Champion in 2007 in Rio. Famous technique and will. Fought great matches against Mansur Isaev, Legrand and Mammadli. Won the Tournoi de Paris in 2009 and 2010. Gold at Grand Prix Qingdao and Warsaw in 2015.
Trivia: When he defeated Kim Jae-Bum for the qualification in Samsun everyone thought he was the chosen one for the Rio Games, but Seung-Su Lee defeated Wang in the trials and was sent to Rio. At the London 2012 Olympic Games Wang broke his elbow against Mansur Isaev.
Uzbekistan judo legend Rishod Sobirov (30) won two world titles in the category U60kg in 2010 and 2011 and bronze in 2015 U66kg. Sobirov is 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympic bronze medallist. In 2013 he stepped up to U66kg and still won international events. Fights at both sides and has a good uchi-mata.
Trivia: Only Rishod Sobirov and Teddy Riner won their third consecutive Olympic medal. Sobirov even in two categories U60kg and U66kg, both since 2008.
Japanese lightweight Haruna Asami (28) became World Champion 2010 in Tokyo and 2011 in Paris and world silver in 2013 (Rio) and 2015 in Astana. Asami won the Universiade in Belgrade (Student World Championships) in 2009. Asian Champion in 2015 in Kuwait. She won 2 Grand Slams in Paris, 2 in Tokyo and Rio.
Trivia: Asami won four World Championships medals in her weight class but never qualified for the Olympic Games
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The IJF World Judo Tour has stopped in Croatia (Zagreb Grand Prix) and Uzbekistan (Tashkent Grand Prix) following the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and has now arrived in Abu Dhabi for the penultimate Grand Slam of the year. Grand Slams have been held in Paris (France), Baku (Azerbaijan) and Tyumen (Russia) already this year with the season set to finish in December with the fifth and final Grand Slam in Tokyo (Japan). Triple World Champion and 2004 Olympic Champion Ilias Iliadis watched the draw this time from another point of view and saw some good matches to look out for. Read more
At 26 August it’s usually time for the World Championships and we can remember some of the best athletes on this day with a world title. Mongolia doesn’t count too many world titles, but at 26 August both Tsagaanbaatar Khashbaatar and Urantsetseg Munkhbat won the world title. Tsagaanbaatar Khashbaatar in Rotterdam in 2009 and Urantsetseg Munkhbat in 2013 in Rio. Read more
The Olympic Games always have a huge effect on the social media of the athletes. Most accounts are increasing but some are really exploding where there’s obviously a connection between the results. Paula Pareto had a more than average account with 16,000 followers, but exploded after her Olympic title to 109,000 followers. Teddy Riner was the biggest active judoka on twitter with over 120,000 followers but now gained another 25,000. Almost 80 percent of all Olympic medallist have an instagram account. Read more
For many people, the Koreans are the most mysterious at these Olympic Games in Rio. They have been hiding, rarely participating in training camps. Current World Champion Gwak Dong Han reached the world number one position in September 2015 after taking the world title. Gwak won the Universiade in Kazan (Student World Championships) in 2013 and the Grand Prix Jeju three times (2013-2015). He also won bronze at the Grand Slam Paris in 2016. Will he succeed his coach as Olympic champion and keep the gold in Korea or will his major rival from Georgia stop him? Read more
The category U90kg is one of the best categories at the European Championships in Kazan. However some strong guys are missing who could spice up the category where Europe is expecting a few medals at the Olympic Games. Without Dutchman Van ‘t End, Celio Dias and without Russians Khusen Khalmurzaev and current European champion Kirill Denisov the tournament could have been even more competitive. Read more
Jovica Jovanovic (SRB)
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