After seven days of individual competition that saw the crowning of 11 new world champions including five Japanese that jave the organising country of the Olympic Games the victory in the emdal table. On Sunday it is the turn of the mixed teams (3 men, 3 women) to compete on the last day of the World Championships in Budapest.
Judo by definition is an individual sport. When you step on the tatami, you are alone against your opponent, but perhaps even more, against yourself. It’s a duel, a one-on-one contest, in which the strongest wins, or if not the strongest, the one who is ready on D-day. It is also a duel against you, against your own forces and weaknesses, against your own fears.
Yet, all Judo lovers know, that team tournaments always have a special flavor, a fragrance of eternity. All the great champions will tell you, when they reach the podium, they know that they have to share their medal with all the training partners who offered them the possibility to reach this level.
We estimate the following teams will fight for the medals: Japan, Brazil, France and Russia. They also form the top 4 of the IJF Mixed teams World Ranking list. They also have a broad choice in both men and women. Also Mongolia develops well and can bring on a strong mixed team. Germany and the Netherlands also have that special flavour, but might not always bring the best athletes in the team, certainly not one month in advance of the World Championships. We foresee that Portugal and Hungary will bring on strong teams and we simply hope that the recent title for Tunisia gives them the spirit to fight alongside the best mixed teams.
Enjoy the team event, it will be a novity at the Olympic Games. IJF President Marius Vizer said in Budapest: “Thanks to the outstanding cooperation with the IOC, we will have, for the first time, a team event, including a refugee team, at the Tokyo Olympic Games this summer and for the editions to follow in the future. All of you can be proud of what we have achieved.”
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