Jerusalem World Masters reveals new champions and exploits

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By Euronews
Grigalashvili ends 2022 on a win
Grigalashvili ends 2022 on a win   -  Copyright  Tamara Kulumbegashvili - IJF

It’s Day 2 of the World Judo Masters in the historic city of Jerusalem!

Once again, the Païs Arena stadium was filled with passionate Judo fans who were eagerly anticipating another thrilling day of competition.

The -81kg category was packed full with some of the most talented Judoka on the planet. Current World Champion Tato Grigalashvili had an epic day, blasting his way to the final.

On the other side of the draw was former World Champion Saeid Mollaei of Azerbaijan, who defeated his Belgian counterpart, Matthias Casse, in their semi-final match.

During the final, a clever counter saw the Georgian World Champion end 2022 on yet another high. What an amazing year for Grigalashvili.

The medals were awarded by Miri Regev, Member of the Israeli Knesset.

I am so happy because of the support from the children in the stadium. I can feel their energy. Not only in Tbilisi, but also internationally. I am very happy to be a role model for them, for the younger generations, for the kids. It’s amazing to see how they love me, it gives me so much motivation and power, thank you to the kids for all their support.
Tato Grigalashvili
Georgian Judo World Champion

In the -73kg class, Brazil’s Daniel Cargnin was delighted to win his first World Masters title.

He was awarded his medals by Naser Al Tamimi, General Treasurer of the IJF.

There was pure delight for Olympic silver Medallist, Michaela Polleres, as she defeated 2019 World Champion Marie-Ève Gahié of France to become the -70kg World Judo master.

She was awarded her medal by Vladimir Barta, Head Sport Director of the IJF.

We asked her about the incredible atmosphere here in the stadium.

It's very cool. It's always like this in Israel and I think that it’s very nice. I feel amazing. I’m just so happy.
Michaela Polleres
Austrian Judoka and Olympic Silver Medallist

In the under 63kg category, three-time Masters Champion, Miku Takaichi of Japan, overcame her Kosovar opponent, Fazliu, to take home an incredible fourth Master’s title.

Agron Kuka, President of the Kosovo Judo Federation, was on hand to award the medals.

With so many fans in the stadium, children from the Shalva association were lucky enough to step onto the tatami mats and try their hand at the gentle art.

The local athletes were in great form once again, putting on a display of scintillating judo to make sure that the huge home crowd had the time of their lives and got to meet their heroes.

Beautiful Jerusalem is bubbling with excitement and can’t wait for the final day of the World Judo Masters on Thursday.