News

The latest Judo News offered by JudoInside.com

History in the make at OpenWeight World Championships

7 Nov 2017 14:10

 by Mark Pickering - IJF    From internet, no source
1964 Anton Geesink

There is no weight category in judo which is more steeped in history, tradition and icons of the Gentle Way than the Openweight category. Geesink, Ruska, Uemura, Lorenz, Yamashita. These are the five judo titans who won Olympic Openweight gold when it was part of judo's programme at the Games from 1964 - 1984.

It all really begins with one of the most famous Olympic stories of all time. Judo's appearance at Tokyo 1964 hypnotised the world when the late 10th Dan and legendary Dutchman Anton Geesink beat domestic opposition in their backyard to become the first non-Japanese Olympic judo champion.

That stirring victory, which showed the world that there was more to do competition judo than just Japan, came in the men's Openweight category which was one of four all-male weight categories at judo's first Olympics.

Geesink, who actually came into the Olympics as the 1961 Openweight world champion -- something that is often overlooked -- became one of the sport's leading attractions and his story and the scale of his accomplishment gave a newly-found allure to the Openweight division.

The men's Openweight category was the only weight category contested at judo's first World Championships in 1956 in Tokyo which was won by Natsui Shokichi.

Openweight led the way in 1958 when Sone Koji won and 1961 when Geesink became the first non-Japanese world judo champion.

The World Championships added three weight categories in 1965 to match the Olympic programme.

Between 1956 and 1991, when the Worlds were held every two years, Japan were only beaten to gold once in the Openweight category when Geesink beat Sone.

Japan's dominance of the division effectively ended in 1993 when Europe came to the fore and enjoyed unbridled success as Rafa Kubacki (POL) won it in 1993 and 1995, with David Douillet (FRA) triumphing in 1995, Alexander Mikhaylin (RUS) in 2001, Dennis van der Geest (NED) in 2005 and Teddy Riner (FRA) in 2008.

Beijing 2008 Olympic silver medallist Abdullo Tangriev (UZB) produced a watershed moment in 2011 when he became the first Asian male judoka from outside of Japan to win the title.

Shinohara Shinichi, Suzuki Keiji, Muneta Yasuyuki and Kamikawa Daiki were the four Japanese judoka able to break Europe's strangehold of the title but were never able to win it a second time.

Europe have retained control of the men's Openweight category for the best part of the 90s and the 00s and now in 2017 a European is the man to beat in Teddy Riner (FRA).

Fundraising with GoGetFunding

Related judoka and events

Related Judo Photos

  • Anton Geesink (NED), Yasuhiro Yamashita (JPN) - © David Finch, Judophotos.com
  • Marius Vizer (AUT), Haruki Uemura (JPN) - World Championships Rio de Janeiro (2013, BRA) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation
  • Willem Ruska (NED) - © Andre de Heus

Related Judo Videos

Related Judo News

19871119A1525 Anton Geesink NED

Anton Geesink won the Olympic title 50 years ago in Tokyo

23 Oct 2014 14:10

It is exactly 50 years ago that judo had an historical day. Anton Geesink was the first judoka outside of Japan to beat the Japanese opponents. The tall Dutchman was in every sense a towering figure in the world of judo. He was 1.98m tall, weighed in at around 120kg and was very subtle, a real technician. Read more

20090829_Rotterdam_Ruska

Double Olympic Judo Champion Willem Ruska passed away

14 Feb 2015 14:45

Double Olympic Champion Wim Ruska passed away on Saturday. The 7 times Olympic Champion became 74 years old and was among the best judoka ever. In 1972 he won the double Olympic title 93kg and open weight class. He was also double World Champion in 1967 and 1971. He was tremendously strong and was seen as the opponent of Anton Geesink although he was younger. Read more

Hall of Fame

Nine new Hall of Famers added by IJF

22 Aug 2015 21:25

Nine new Hall of Famers were added by the International Judo Federation at the occasion of a gala in advance of the World Championships in Astana. The IJF started the Hall of Fame in 2013 and continues this tradition to honour the best athletes in the history of judo. Read more

20171202_gstokyo_fb_ijf_tokyo_gs

Grand Slam Tokyo cancelled

19 Sep 2020 15:15

The International Judo Federation has decided not to hold the Tokyo Grand Slam as scheduled from Dec. 11-13 amid coronavirus infection concerns, a source close to the matter told Kyodo News on Saturday. Read more

ah1502201223 Yasuhiro Yamashita

Judo Legend Yamashita Elected As IOC Member

10 Jan 2020 14:05

All Japan Judo Federation President, Japanese Olympic Committee President and IJF Executive Board Member Yamashita Yasuhiro was officially elected as an International Olympic Committee member during the 135th IOC session in Lausanne, Switzerland. Read more

Judo birthday

Result City Date
2Düsseldorf21 Feb
1Budapest2019
2Qingdao2019
1Osaka2019
1Odivelas2019
Result City Date
1Düsseldorf21 Feb
2Osaka2019
1Tokyo2019
1Tokyo2019
1Hohhot2019

Partners

First description Second description Third description Four description