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Yahima Ramirez searching for points and records

16 Apr 2019 12:00

 Mark Pickering - IJF and JudoInside / judo news, results and photos

Cuba-born 39-year-old Yahima Ramirez of Portugal is the only judoka that has participated in all seven IJF events so far this year. She can become the oldest ever athlete to take a top 8 position in the IJF World Judo Tour.

The London 2012 Olympian, who won European bronze 11 years ago in Lisbon, has travelled the world this year in search of Olympic qualification points. She won bronze at the European Open in Lisbon but that delivered her only 25 points against 182 for the seventh places in the Grand Prix of Tel Aviv, Marrakech and Antalya. Ramirez is cloing in on Spanish Isabel Fernandez (39) who was slightly older when she took a fifth place in Düsseldorf in 2012. Meanwhile she did pass Sabrina Filzmoser, Ilse Heylen and Alexander Mikhailin who are in the top 5.

The multiple-time Portuguese champion has won Grand Prix and Grand Slam honours but last stepped onto an IJF medal podium in 2017 with bronze at the Zagreb Grand Prix.

From seven IJF outings in 2019, Ramirez has earned three seventh-places with a contest record of five wins and 10 defeats.

Ever-active and always willing to travel, the U78kg competitor is already entered for the Baku Grand Slam next month and the European Games in June. The European Championships in 2021 will be in Portugal, perhaps an aim to destroy all possible age records. But no worries, in Minsk she will already become the oldest ever participant that we know, improving the record of Tsvetana Bozhilova set in 2008 in Lisbon.

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  • Yahima Ramirez (POR) - European Championships Tel Aviv (2018, ISR) - © Oliver Sellner
  • Yahima Ramirez (POR) - European Championships Tel Aviv (2018, ISR) - © Oliver Sellner
  • Yahima Ramirez (POR) - Grand Prix Marrakech (2019, MAR) - © IJF Emanuele Di Feliciantonio, International Judo Federation

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