The latest Judo News offered by

Saeid Mollaei awarded for courage

17 Nov 2019 17:05

 Nicolas Messner - IJF    IJF Emanuele Di Feliciantonio / International Judo Federation

Saeid Mollaei will soon resume his career under the IJF Refugee Team colors, a career that was interrupted in Tokyo at the end of August. This will be an important moment for the 2018 World Champion, who since Wednesday, August 28, has seen his life totally change. Now a refugee in Germany, he was in Brussels on Saturday, November 16th, to receive the Crans Montana Forum gold medal from the hands of Ambassador Jean-Paul Carteron, for the difficult decision he took in Japan.

The Forum is a Non-Governmental International Organization established since 1986, whose mission is to build a better World “Towards a more Humane World”.

Having traded the judogi for the suit on the occasion of the ceremony, Saeid said he was more impressed to have to speak in front of a crowd of selected personalities than when he had to get on the tatami to start a world championship. Actually within two months, many things have changed for the former world number one: "It has been difficult. Very difficult months. Being far from your family and not capable of at least talking with them freely is harsh. But I keep going. I step in a new life, and try to cope with all difficulties.”

Saeid admits that everything is new for him: “I come from a quite traditional society, from a traditional family. Now, I live in a modern society, among people with a quite different culture, rules and behaviors. Everything is different. But a sportsman learns to cope with situation, and adapt oneself, and this is what I am doing.”

Since Tokyo and after a few days of rest, the Champion has been training daily to reach his goal and dream, to be an Olympic Champion: “Every morning I go to the gym, and I practice judo in the afternoon, 6 days per week. I participated in a few competitions with my judo club and thanks to the IJF I could also participate in training camps.”

Far from the World Judo Tour, he has been following the World Judo Tour on TV, but in a few days, he will again fly to Japan: “When I was told that I will go to Osaka, I intensified my trainings and exercises. I left Japan with tears. I cried a lot. But now to go back to Japan means a lot for me. I will do all I can to be ready for the Olympics, and Osaka is the very first step in this path.”

For the time being, it is to become an Olympic champion: “Without the support of the IJF and the one of my new family in Germany I couldn't be here. The people who are supporting me are like angels who lead me through this new life. I don’t know how to thank them. There are great. I will do all my best to get the Olympic medal, as a gift to them and to all judo family.”

Mollaei concluded: “I thank the organizers of Crans Montana Forum for their invitation and the medal. I am honored. I know that through sport we can fight against discrimination and inequality. We must try to make a better world. A peaceful world, more equal, more friendly, and more fair.”

Fundraising with GoGetFunding

Related judoka and events

Related Judo Photos

  • Saeid Mollaei (MGL) - World Championships Tokyo (2019, JPN) - © IJF Gabriela Sabau, International Judo Federation
  • Mohammad Mohammadi (IRI), Saeid Mollaei (MGL) - World Championships Tokyo (2019, JPN) - © JudoHeroes
  • Saeid Mollaei (MGL), Benedek Toth (HUN) - Grand Prix Zagreb (2019, CRO) - © IJF Aurelien Brandenburger, 	International Judo Federation

Related Judo Videos

Related Judo News


CAS cancels suspension of Iran

2 Mar 2021 10:50

The Court of Arbitration for Sport on Monday canceled the suspension of the Iranian judo federation, imposed after it ordered judoka Saeid Mollaei not to fight against an Israeli. The CAS said it was referring the case back to the International Judo Federation which imposed the ban in October 2019. Read more


Boltaboev takes gold Mollaei produces the magic

19 Feb 2021 21:10

It was without a doubt the most anticipated category of the Grand Slam in Tel Aviv and perhaps of the whole competition. How would Saeid Mollaei (MGL) and Sagi Muki (ISR) manage to cope with the incredible pressure on their shoulders? Would the two world champions, otherwise friends, meet for the first time in a final of the world circuit or simply meet at all in a competition? Read more


Saeid Mollaei arrives in Israel for Grand Slam Tel Aviv

15 Feb 2021 10:40

Iranian-born Saeid Mollaei, now representing Mongolia, says he is 'happy' to arrive in Israel for first time. Mollaei landed overnight Sunday in Israel ahead of his participation in the Tel Aviv Grand Slam competition beginning next Thursday, in which he will represent Mongolia and he is looking forward to see his friend Sagi Muki in his own country. An impossible trip for Mollaei in the past. Read more


Olympic Games level will require optimal mental health

29 Jan 2021 13:50

One of the most competitive weight classes in judo is the U81kg division for men. Many athletes and a lot of youngsters who are eager to win the world’s most important medal in judo in July in Tokyo’s Budokan. Also it is a weight category where Japan may not be so strong…. That’s an assumption though as you simply haven’t seen one of the main contenders for an Olympic gold medal, he’s ben hiding but will show his face just in advance of the Olympic Games as he doesn’t have to qualify. Read more


We are All with Saeid Mollaei

16 Sep 2020 14:00

2019 World Champion Sagi Muki supported 2018 World Champion Saeid Mollaei on social media in advance of the trial at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Thursday. The Iran Judo Federation were suspended by the International Judo Federation (IJF) last October until they give guarantees that they will not boycott matches against Israeli opponents. Read more

Judo birthday

Result City Date
1Tel Aviv2020
5Abu Dhabi2019
Result City Date


First description Second description Third description Four description