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Abu Dhabi World Judo Championships Draw Record Participation

Abu Dhabi World Judo Championships

The 2024 Abu Dhabi World Judo Championships Seniors are set to host an unprecedented number of athletes, making it the largest competition in the event's history. Taking place from May 19-24 at the Mubadala Arena, the championships will feature 682 judokas from 110 countries.

Organized by the International Judo Federation and the UAE Judo Federation, the week-long event has seen a flurry of last-minute registrations. A total of 362 men and 320 women will compete across seven weight categories each, contending for a share of the €1 million prize pool.

The previous championships in Doha had 657 participants from 99 countries. This year’s Abu Dhabi event surpasses that, with competitors ranging from -48 kg to +100 kg for both men and women.

The UAE national team will face strong competition from judokas representing countries such as France, Japan, Brazil, Canada, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Bahrain, Algeria, and Tunisia.

One of the event's highlights is the participation of French judo legend Teddy Riner. Riner, known for his extraordinary career, was the youngest world champion in 2007 at 18 years old and became the oldest world champion in 2023 at 34 years and 36 days.

Other notable world champions competing include Yang Yung-wei of Taiwan (-60kg), Matthias Casse of Belgium (-81kg), and Temur Rakhimov of Tajikistan (+100kg). In the women’s categories, Italy’s Assunta Scutto (-48kg), Canada's Christa Deguchi (-57kg) and Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard (-48kg), and Croatia’s Barbara Matic (-70kg) are set to participate.

Gold medalists will receive $28,300, silver medalists $16,000, and bronze medalists $8,700. The team competition offers a gold medal prize of $98,000, silver $52,200, and bronze $27,200.

Mohammed Bin Tha’aloob Saleem Al-Darie, president of the UAE Judo Federation and chairman of the Supreme Organizing Committee, expressed his excitement about the massive turnout.

“The overwhelming response to the registration till the final hours of the deadline reflects the keenness of all countries and players to participate in the competition. Not only have we been able to attract a record 110 countries, we have also managed to have most of the former and current world champions lining up for a slice of the action in Abu Dhabi,” he said.

Teams have begun arriving in Abu Dhabi, with national cadres working tirelessly to ensure a smooth build-up to the competition. The draw of lots will take place on May 18, with individual competitions running from May 19-23. The final day, May 24, will be dedicated to the mixed teams competition.


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