News

The latest Judo News offered by JudoInside.com

Idalys Ortiz eager to take second Olympic gold medal

14 Jul 2016 10:35

 AFP    IJF Media Team / International Judo Federation
20150829_O78_bronze_ORTIZ, Idalys (CUB) - MA, Sisi (CHN)7

Top Cuban judoka Idalis Ortiz forged her exceptional endurance and techniques by training with men, a regimen that helped her break through in Beijing and claim Olympic gold in London. By stealing the spotlight from the favourites, China’s Tong Wen and Japan’s Mika Sugimoto, Ortiz became the first judoka born outside Asia to dominate in the category at the Olympics, which first held women’s judo competitions in 1992.

In Rio, things will be different, she said, because the field is more even. “Whoever my opponent may be, it will be difficult," Ortiz predicted in an interview with AFP. To reach the top of the podium in Rio next month, Ortiz will likely have to get past world No 1 Song Yu of China and Brazil’s Maria Altheman, Ortiz’s long-suffering foil who will likely be thirsty for revenge on home turf.

The Cuban is still eager to win titles even after taking home some 200 medals over the course of her career, including five from world championships – two gold and three bronze. For the time being, Ortiz is training hard, seven hours a day and, as she did at the start of her career, with men.

“I’ve always been fairly big, and there weren’t any girls to take me on. I’ve always had to spar with men in training. You can’t imagine how many times they took me down but losing made me stronger mentally," she added. Driulis Gonzalez, a Cuban female judo star who trains the national team, is full of praise for Ortiz. “Since she joined the national team, she’s shown maturity, character and self-sacrifice. This, along with her discipline and talent, give her a winning mindset," she said.

Ortiz’s love affair with judo began at an early age. But everything changed when she was 14 – the moment when she arrived at the elite national training centre in Havana. When she showed up for tryouts, Ortiz says that her sister was bowled over by the size of her adversaries and asked her if she truly wanted to stay. “I told her, ‘So long as I’m here, I’ll keep going! ... And after the bouts, the teacher said, ‘The little one stays here’." And for 12 years since that time, the champion has only ever gone home to visit.

During major international events, Ortiz’s entire family is overcome with nerves but cannot travel with her due to the cost. “My parents have never had the courage to watch me spar in person. My brothers have watched but not my parents," the champion says with a smile before heading back to the tatami mat.

Fundraising with GoGetFunding

Related judoka and events

Related Judo Photos

  • Idalys Ortiz (CUB) - IJF World Masters Guadalajara (2016, MEX) - © JudoHeroes
  • Idalys Ortiz (CUB) - Grand Prix Almaty (2016, KAZ) - © JudoHeroes
  • Idalys Ortiz (CUB) - Olympic Games London (2012, GBR) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation

Related Judo Videos

Related Judo News

20180427_ech_telaviv_os_day2_81_sagi_muki_podium_proud_flag

Sagi Muki concludes successful 2019 as top earner

31 Dec 2019 11:05

The IJF will continue its end-of-year tradition of awarding a prize money bonus to all 14 world number ones on the final IJF World Ranking List for 2019. The bonus, which was first introduced in 2016, will see the world number one’s in each of the 14 weight categories scoop a bonus of $10,000 per judoka. Read more

2019_qingdao_masters_amandine_buchard

French women lead the last World Ranking of 2019

19 Dec 2019 09:00

Looking at the World Ranking, this year wasn’t so different than 2018. Especially in the women’s division some of the same leaders top the IJF World Ranking. Not surprisingly World Champions Daria Bilodid and Clarisse Agbegnenou who retained title in Tokyo reign in their categories. Read more

o78reacextra600

Akira Sone make statement for the games with world title

31 Aug 2019 17:05

Japanese prodigy Akira Sone became the youngest women’s heavyweight world champion of all time as she won the +78kg crown with a narrow victory over the legendary Idalys Ortiz (CUB). Sone, 19, who was the 2015 Cadet world champion and 2017 Junior world champion, completed her Worlds set by beating her rival Ortiz for the second time with their head-to-series even at 1-1 before the final. Read more

20190830_jh_judoworlds_cze_101_lukas_krpalek

We will have new heavyweight World Champions

31 Aug 2019 11:50

At the last day of the inidividual Championships in Tokyo defending champion Guram Tushishvili (GEO) was in devastating form in the preliminaries as he won all three of his contests by ippon to breeze into the last four. Read more

20180823_mongjh_judoworlds_medallists

Georgii Zantaraia and Idalys Ortiz are World Championships legends

15 Aug 2019 10:25

Without Teddy Riner Cuban judo star Idalys Ortiz is the one with the most World Championships medals fighting in Tokyo. The Cuban heavyweight captured seven World Championships medals in her career. In 2009 she won her first and in 2013 and 2014 she took the world title. Read more

Judo birthday

Result City Date
1Brasilia2019
1Montreal2019
1Marrakech2017
1Zagreb2017
3Budapest2017
Result City Date
1Budapest2019
2Qingdao2019
3Brasilia2019
1Tokyo2019
3Montreal2019

Partners

First description Second description Third description Four description