Israel goes for gold during day one of World Judo Masters

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By Euronews
Baruch Shmailov poses with fans
Baruch Shmailov poses with fans   -  Copyright  IJF / Kulumbegashvili Tamara

The Judo family returned to Israel for its biggest event yet, the World Judo Masters!

And the locals were ecstatic!

The President of the IJF Marius Vizer opened the historic event, alongside the Mayor of Jerusalem, Moshe Lion and Moshe Ponti, the President of the Israel Judo Association.

They witnessed young star Shirine Boukli take her biggest title yet with a clever sacrifice technique, before taking the time to take a selfie with the local judo fans, giving them a memory they will never forget.

President of the IJF Marius Vizer awarded her the Gold medal

It’s Jerusalem, it’s a historic place! It’s an amazing crowd, with children, and they are so passionate about Judo. It's great."
Shirine Boukli
French Judoka

For the -60kg category,  Korea’s Lee Harim took on World Medallist Nagayama and ended up standing on top of the Podium.

Meanwhile, Olympic Champion of the under 48 class, Krasniqi of Kosovo, defeated Olympic and World Medallist Chelsie Giles today in the under 52kg category. 

She took the win with a lightning fast o-uchi-gari, securing a momentous 4th Master’s title.

IJF Vice President Laszlo Toth awarded the medals.

Home hopes for Gold today, rested on the powerful shoulders of Baruch Shmailov, and throughout the day, he put on his usual explosive display of Judo, with some absolutely enormous techniques.

In the final, he met French surprise package Bouba, but the home fans could see no other option but Gold for Israel, and the Pais Arena Jerusalem erupted for their hero, as he became -66kg World Masters Champion.

Incredible scenes as Baruch Shmailov, the hero they all came for, delivered!

The Mayor of Jerusalem, Moshe Lion awarded Shmailov and Israel their Gold medal.

I see people close to me. I just want to jump and hug everyone. Unfortunately, there’s not enough time, but I will definitely get to everyone. It’s just such a happy moment. I can't hold myself back, I’m happy.
Baruch Shmailov
Israeli Judoka

Canadian Fan favourite, Christa Deguchi, ended the year on a high, with some incredible sacrifice techniques! The 2019 World Champion ends 2022 as the World Master of the -57kg class.

Vice President of the IJF Siteny Randrianasoloniaiko awarded the medals.

To add to the home success of a Gold medal, both the women and the rest of the men’s team gave the local fans so much to cheer for throughout the day.

The Grand Slam in Tel Aviv was always an incredible stop on the World tour, and the masters has reached new heights.