The latest Judo News offered by

Saeid Mollaei wins historic world title for Iran

23 Sep 2018 16:15


Saeid Mollaei signed for another amazing story at these amazing World Championships in Baku. Iran celebrates a world champion for the first in fifteen years. Mollaei won with powerful judo in an exciting final against Sotaro Fujiwara of Japan.

After 80 seconds it was Mollaei who opened the match with an excellent wazari, the Iranian even thought he had won, but with wazari he got awarded for the an unorthodox effort. Fujiwara hadn’t showed his best so far and Mollaei was the one to attack when he had to. One minute for the Fujiwara made the equalizer with a beautiful o-soto gari and also this one was close to the back. It drove the final to the fireworks we were expecting. The Japanese back into the game as the match proceeded into golden score. Sixteen seconds it was Mollaei who reached ultimate hero status in his country to beat Fujiwara with harai makikomi and the Japanese tried to counter with uranage but the Iranian still had the arm to control Fujiwara. After Arash Miresmaeili won world titles in 2001 and 2003, it is fifteen year later that Saeid Mollaei wrote history for his country.

The bronze medal fight was an all-German contest between Alexander Wieczerzak who won a back to back medal. His second world medal and again on the podium, which is a celebration worth while. He defeated Dominic Ressel five seconds for the end with a seoi nage when he changed direction. The control on the arm of Ressel was key to drive Ressel to the ground. Wieczerzak who wasn’t too active this year and fought just briefly this year, showed he could come back at the highest level. Unfortunately for Ressel who was really steaming today but couldn’t come into the bronze medal bout for a second.

Vedat Albayrak of Turkey and Damian Szwarnowiecki battled for bronze and the Turkish athlete took advantage of a mistake by the Polish fighter and directed him to the ground taking the first Turkey’s medal for a man since 2001 in another era. Turkish last medal was in 2003 by Nese Sensoy, can you imagine the impact of this medal. The Polish plugged the way throughout the day but made just one mistake on his way of success. It was Albayrak who swept Szwarnowiecki to the ground after a ko-uchi attempt by the Polish.

In the first semi final Vedat Albayrak showed World number one Saeid Mollaei he had no respect for his leading position fought him like a lion. Albayrak, the former World Junior bronze medallist Roman Moustopoulos demands a medal for Turkey. He was born in Georgia as Vano Revazishvili. Both players didn’t score in the regular and made it an exciting golden score. Although Mollaei showed fatigue but it was the Iranian to reach the semi final after two minutes in the golden score with a very slow drive turning Albayrak onto his side.

Sotaro Fujiwara of Japan had to fight Dominic Ressel who was on fire today. He scored an amazing ippon against Muki but Fujiwara got more experienced over the last two years in the IJF Tour and the gripping tactics in the match were essential. The kumikata fight resulted in a slow pace and Ressel got a penalty. Both athletes didn’t score in regular time and Fujiwara got penalized as well, but athletes struggled with the condition. After six minutes of fight Fujiwara launched a Sumi Gaeshi and was awarded the score at first side but it wasn’t. Score waved away but a few second Fujiwara scored with a left sasei and made it to the final which resulted in a bronze medal fight between the two Germans.

World Champion Alexander Wieczerzak defeated Junior World Champion Matthias Casse with hard judo and he controlled the pace of the contest. He threw Wieczerzak with a seoi nage in the third minute and Casse just couldn’t control Wieczerzak who was clearly aiming to prolong the podium feeling and show everyone it wasn’t a fluke last year. Wieczerzak had two penalties but pulled the match for the continuation. Not a bad performance though for Belgian rookie Casse.

Damian Szwarnowiecki of Poland shocked Olympic champion Khasan Khalmurzaev. Szwarnowiecki who comes from the U73kg class progressed fast and this victory against the Olympic Champion for a sankaku and an oseikomi was a good win for Poland in general that needs a success, especially in the men’s classes.

Related judoka and events

Related Judo Photos

  • Saeid Mollaei (IRI) - World Championships Baku (2018, AZE) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation
  • Saeid Mollaei (IRI) - World Championships Baku (2018, AZE) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation
  • Saeid Mollaei (IRI) - World Championships Baku (2018, AZE) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation

Related Judo Videos

Related Judo News


Iran Judo Federation suspended by IJF

18 Sep 2019 11:45

Following what happened during the last World Judo Championships Tokyo 2019, the International Judo Federation pronounces against the Iran Judo Federation a protective suspension from all competitions, administrative and social activities organized or authorized by International Judo Federation and its Unions. Read more


Sagi Muki: “I want To compete against Mollaei and hug him”

2 Sep 2019 11:20

Sagi Muki expressed his sympathy for his Iranian competitor, who was forced to lose his final two bouts so that the two would not compete against one another. Muki feels bad for his Iranian counterpart, Saeid Mollaei, who plans to compete in the 2020 Olympics under the Olympic flag rather than his home country’s due to the political tension between Israel and Iran. Read more


Saeid Mollaei was intimidated in advance of World Championships

2 Sep 2019 10:05

Saeid Mollaei was threated in advance of the World Championships. “I am ready to fight for Israel at all time, but my political situation forces that I am in danger. Politics kill me if I fight Israel. Before the World Championships they told me not to fight against, maybe even not fight at all and they would threaten not me but my family.” Read more


The true story on Saeid Mollaei

2 Sep 2019 00:05

Saeid Mollaei (IRI) and Sagi Muki (ISR) were supposed to be the picture to mark history: Iran and Israel competing against each other and being present on the same podium at the World Judo Championships in Tokyo. For years, Iranian athletes have been prohibited from competing in any sport against Israel. From questionable injuries, to throwing matches, Iranian athletes across all sports have been ordered to crush their own dreams. Read more


Sagi Muki is the first male world champion for Israel

28 Aug 2019 14:30

An exciting tournament U81kg at the World Championships with Sagi Muki as the new World Champion. In the final he defeated belgian prodigy Matthias Casse another time. Muki and Casse know each-other inside out but again Muki was able to take this match and captured the first world title for his country. Belgium is left with empty hands, of six world finals they lost all six. Read more

Judo birthday

Result City Date
1Tokyo1 Sep
1Tokyo27 Aug
1Fukuoka7 Apr
1Düsseldorf22 Feb
Result City Date
3Brasilia7 Oct
1Tokyo1 Sep
1Montreal5 Jul
2Fukuoka7 Apr
1Paris9 Feb


First description Second description Third description Four description