The latest Judo News offered by

Iranian World Champion Mollaei in tough pool in Guangzhou

14 Dec 2018 10:20

   Mongolian JudoHeroes

At the IJF World Masters in Guangzhou, world number one Mollaei has made the 2018 season his own with a sensational year that has made him a household name in the sport and a hero in Iran.

In his category U81kg, Mollaei proved to show creative and strong innovative judo, but his style also has certain risks. Mollaei failed to medal at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam and The Hague Grand Prix, where he lost in the first round. As World Ranking leader and World Champion, there’s a lot at stake and there are enough rivals who want to take over the crown.

Mollaei missed the podium at the season-opening Tunis Grand Prix in January before winning the Düsseldorf Grand Slam a month later. The Iranian ace took bronze at the Ekaterinburg Grand Slam but finished short of a medal finish at the Antalya Grand Prix. The highly-active U81kg judoka took silver at the Asian Games before his sublime world title win. Mollaei finished fifth at the Masters last year and should offer a stronger title challenger in 2018 as the reigning world champion.    

Mollaei will have to face Takeshi Sasaki in the first round, the winner of the Grand Slam Osaka, but the lead on World number two De Wit is too big to swop the number one position.

Dutchman Frank de Wit who won bronze at the Masters last year in St. Petersburg is one of them, but so far Mollaei was too powerful for him. De Wit is opposed to Eduardo Santos (BRA) and in one pool with the surprising Turkish Vedat Albayrak, aka Roman Moustopoulos won bronze at the 2016 Masters in Guadalajara (MEX). He stepped over successfully from Greece to Turkey and surprised with a world bronze medal.

Last year’s winner of the Masters Khasan Khalmurzaev will face Ivaylo Ivanov who won the Grand Prix in The Hague and seems to be back at his old level. But the Olympic Champion is still a big leap for the Bulgarian.

Belgian Matthias Casse will face Sagi Muki of Israel who caught the talented Belgian fighter twice this year. Muki never fought Mollaei nor Sasaki.

Related judoka and events

Related Judo Photos

  • Vedat Albayrak (TUR) - IJF World Masters Guangzhou (2018, CHN) - © Mongolian JudoHeroes
  • Frank De Wit (NED) - IJF World Masters Guangzhou (2018, CHN) - © Mongolian JudoHeroes
  • Sagi Muki (ISR) - World Championships Baku (2018, AZE) - © Mongolian JudoHeroes

Related Judo Videos

Related Judo News


Without Muki the category U81kg is open for predators

21 Jun 2019 08:05

Without Israelian star Sagi Muki the European Championships title U81kg is open for anyone. Muki is the biggest prospect for World gold in Tokyo for Israel. In their successful team Muki continues to grow towards the absolute highest level U81kg. However the Israelians chose not go to the European Games and have selected the Grand Prix in Budapest which is the first European event for 100% qualification points. The European Games will only deliver 700 points for the winner but deducted with 50% next year. Read more


Frank de Wit rediscovers the taste of gold

30 Mar 2019 17:10

Former World number one Frank De Wit of the Netherlands won his country’s second gold medal of the day with a professional performance against number 108 Timo Cavelius (GER). De Wit went for broke in early exchanges before settling down and establishing his dominance as first-time IJF finalist Cavelius struggled to threaten the Dutch star. Read more


Takeshi Sasaki wins his second IJF gold in a month

16 Dec 2018 11:30

Japanese middleweight Sasaki Takeshi defeated European Championships bronze medallist Aslan Lappinagov (RUS) to record the highest profile win of his career. The world number 13 defeated the world number seven as the Russian had to settle for silver for the second year in a row at the Masters. Read more


Preview men Grand Slam Osaka

22 Nov 2018 12:35

For the first time the IJF World Tour is welcomed in Osaka. The Japanese city hosted Asian Championships in the past and the 2003 World Championships. Obviously the expectations for the Japanese team are high this weekend and with Oon Yeoh of JudoCrazy we preview the men’s tournament with the major favourites. Read more


Brilliant Bulgarian Ivaylo Ivanov spoils Dutch dreams

17 Nov 2018 21:40

Ivaylo Ivanov of Bulgaria reinvigorated his career with gold on Saturday as he left home hero and two-time Grand Slam winner Frank De Wit (NED) in tears. Ivanov returned to an IJF medal podium for the first time in 18 months with a come-from-behind win over world number two De Wit who was overzealous and perhaps overawed by the occasion as he fought in a Grand Prix final for the first time in front of his home fans. Read more

Judo birthday

Result City Date
1Abu Dhabi25 Oct
2Zagreb26 Jul
1Veneto23 Feb
1Tel Aviv2018
Result City Date
2Wiesbaden9 Nov
2Abu Dhabi25 Oct
3Tallinn13 Oct
7Tokyo29 Aug
3Zagreb26 Jul


First description Second description Third description Four description