Day four of the Judo World Championships was one for the rank outsiders as the field saw some major upsets.
In the men’s under 81 kilogram division, Italy’s Matteo Marconcini battled through to reach the final, displaying some fantastic judo along the way. With a lowly ranking of 61, he surprised everyone. His final obstacle arrived in the form of Germany’s Alexander Wieczerzak. An outstanding match by both judoka to delight the crowd but the German triumphed. Wieczerzak won with a sensational ippon.
His rank? Just 124.
A bewildered Wieczerzak said:
“I’m so confused now because I’m world champion. It sounds really amazing for me, the last time in 2010 I was world champion but in the juniors. Now I’m world champion in Budapest. It’s really amazing.”
The women’s under 63 kilogram category stayed more true to form. Slovenian Olympic and World defending champion Tina Trstenjak faced French world number three Clarisse Agbegnenou in the final.
Old friends on the mat, this was the third time they have faced each other in a big event. After two world championship finals and another final at the Rio Olympic Games, the Slovenian always came up trumps. But this time the French judoka outclassed her opponent from the very beginning.
It was also notable that for the first time since the beginning of the championships, Japan did not medal in this division.
Clarisse Agbenenou said:
“It’s been so long… so many times that I’ve lost in a final against Tina. I have worked hard on a few things, I thought about different things and it worked! I was patient, I was focused, everything worked, and I’m happy.”
Today’s VIP was Tamás Aján, President of the International Weightlifting Federation and member of the International Olympic Committee. He explained why he likes Frenchwoman Clarisse Agbegnenou so much.
“She is very dynamic, a good fighter and even when she goes on to the tatami I saw in her face how she absolutely prepares herself for a strong fight. Myself and also the spectators, we were very satisfied with what she did on the tatami, she was really good.”
Today’s moment of the day features the elimination of most of the favourites in the under 81 kilogram division.
Canadian Antoine Valois-Fortier lost in the first round. Even more surprisingly, Russian and world number one Alan Khubetsov failed to progress in the second round and the Japanese and defending champion Takanori Nagase was defeated in the fourth round. Even the Russian current Olympic champion Khasan Khalmurzaev was bested in the semifinals, rounding off a day to forget for the men’s top seeds.