The latest Judo News offered by

Majlinda Kelmendi makes the competition U52kg hungry

19 Jun 2019 13:05

   Emir Incegul / Turkish Judo Federation
2016 Grozny ECC EI_Majlinda kelmendi - Amandine Buchard

It’s a long time ago since France won European gold U52kg but World Ranking leader Amandine Buchard is absolutely among the top favourites to pick up that opportunity for the first since 2011. Since that time we must admit that this weight class exploded in strength. It used to be a bit of a boring class but that changed since Majlinda Kelmendi won the World title in 2013 for the first time.

Kelmendi could stand the Asians and Cubans who won the Olympic titles since 1996 and world titles since 1997. Kelmendi was the only athlete to stand the world level pressure.

Nemesis Amandine Buchard

In her slipstream Buchard developed from U48kg star to U52kg world leader and we don’t know yet the strength of Kelmendi but her victories in Tel Aviv and Düsseldorf say enough. Frankly speaking Buchard is a bit of a nemesis for Kelmendi. Buchard beat her before and we look forward to another clash perhaps in the semi final in Minsk.

Kuziutina women’s leader

Natalia Kuziutina is the leader of women’s judo in Russia and she is still eager to win her fifth title and to defend her title won in Tel Aviv. However we admit the Europeans are strong this year and the interest in the European Games is good. In the same pool is Odette Giuffrida who never won a European senior medal and the three fifth places do not represent her capabilities, although she belongs to the top five in Europe, dangerous to say, there are only four spots on the podium. Normally Giuffrida should be there as Olympic finalist and winner of the Grand Prix in Tbilisi, but in this pool even with Chitu, you don't know the outcome.

Which outsider will outperform?

Below the quartet there’s a big bunch of outsiders: Tschopp (SUI), Perez Box (ESP), Perenc (POL) and obviously Van Snick (BEL) who won the European Games U48kg in the first edition in 2015. She seems to have a good draw in this edition. They belong to the seeded players and in all honestly there is a gap with the rest. Incidentally surprises will occur like Tschopp who won European bronze in 2017 and last year with Gefen Primo (ISR) in Tel Aviv. Or perhaps Andreea Chitu can still show past results in this class. Chitu won two European titles and five medals and she won the Grand Prix in Antalya to prove she still matters. Her former compatriot Larisa Florian is now fighting for Azerbaijan but is a pool of death with Kelmendi and outsiders Reka Pupp (HUN), Karolina Pienkowska (POL). 

Related judoka and events

Related Judo Photos

  • Natalia Kuziutina (RUS) - European Championships Tel Aviv (2018, ISR) - © Oliver Sellner
  • Evelyne Tschopp (SUI), Charline Van Snick (BEL) - IJF World Masters Guangzhou (2018, CHN) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation
  • Majlinda Kelmendi (KOS), Odette Giuffrida (ITA), Misato Nakamura (JPN), Natalia Kuziutina (RUS) - 2016 Olympic Games day 2 Judo U66kg & U52kg (2016, BRA) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation

Related Judo Videos

Related Judo News


Natalia Kuziutina turns 30, ten years of top judo

8 May 2019 09:50

Natalia Kuziutina turned 30 years today. The Russian frontrunner of women’s judo will try to win another European title in the occasion of the European Games in Minsk in June. Kuziutina defends her European title of Tel Aviv last year which was her fourth European prize. Read more


Natalia Kuziutina leader for young Russian generation

17 Mar 2019 14:50

Female Russian star Natalia Kuziutina was not happy with her bronze medal on home soil at the Ekaterinburg Grand Slam. Last year, the defending European Champion won gold at the tournament. In the fight for bronze she was due to face younger team member Daria Bobrikova. However, Daria was injured. Nevertheless, Natalia is considered a leader for the younger generation. Read more


Gili Cohen needed a win and captured it in Ekaterinburg

15 Mar 2019 15:10

Israelian judoka Gili Cohen won her second Grand Slam gold medal by defeating Marrakech Grand Prix silver medallist Ana Perez Box of Spain in the U52kg final. Former Baku Grand Slam winner and Tel Aviv Grand Prix silver medallist Cohen floored her Spanish opponent, who was appearing in a Grand Slam final for the first time, with a ko-uchi-gari which was one of the best ippons on day one. Read more


Appealing contests for women at Grand Slam Ekaterinburg

14 Mar 2019 11:00

The Grand Slam of Ekaterinburg booked a record number of participants. With 358 athletes of 47 nations saw by far more athletes this year compared to 2018 and 2017. Only the Grand Slams in Moscow attracted more judoka in 2010 (488) and 2011 (458). We will have a look at the women in Russia after the draw. The women U70kg counts 33 athletes, that happened only 5 times more in the IJF Tour. Read more


Japan’s number three Tsunoda clinches Guangzhou gold

15 Dec 2018 12:00

Tsunoda Natsumi of Japan defeated world bronze medallist Amandine Buchard (FRA) to win the -52kg title in China. Osaka Grand Slam silver medallist Tsunoda, who in the domestic pecking order is behind world champion Abe Uta and world silver medallist Shishime Ai (JPN), turned Buchard over and onto her back with a sumi-gaeshi. Read more

Judo birthday

Result City Date
1Fukuoka7 Apr
1Düsseldorf22 Feb
Result City Date
1Montreal5 Jul
2Fukuoka7 Apr
1Paris9 Feb


First description Second description Third description Four description