2015 Veteran World Championships, Amsterdam DAY 2 Back

September 22, 2015

IJF News - 22 September, 2015

Veteran World Championships 2015, Amsterdam



The Veteran World Championships 2015 delivered a day of high-quality judo on Tuesday as two age groups graced the five tatami in Amsterdam in front of a considerable crowd.   


The M1 (age 30-34) and M3 (40-44) judoka were chasing world glory with seven weight categories being contested in each age group.


Much of the attention on day 2 was around Dutch great and Sydney 2000 Olympic champion Mark HUIZINGA who returned to the tatami to great fanfare having retired after the 2008 Beijing Olympics.



The M3, -90kg final: Udoka IKEME MBLEDOGU (ESP) v Mark HUIZINGA (NED) in white 


"I had no plans of competing in judo ever again,” said the 42-year-old. ”But as this championship happens to be in my home country, I thought about it for a few weeks. I like to make randori occasionally. I thought it would nice to do this again in a real win-or-lose setting.


"It has been seven years since I retired. In the past three years I did only a few judo trainings per year. In the last three months I tried to do one judo training every week, but I did not succeed.


"It is nice that these championships are now fully adopted by the IJF. Judo is a sport for all ages, it is good that the national and international federation acknowledges that. It is a great platform to bring together the judokas that have true passion for competing in the sport. It shows that the sport is important at so many levels. For young children to learn to use their body, how to cope with others and learning about structure and respect. Of course the high level competition ranging from national level to Olympic Games. But also judo life after one's prime, enjoying the sport in dojos around the world.”


The five-time European champion won all five of his contests and was relieved to have won gold in his homeland.


"I’m relieved more than anything, I felt I had to win and especially as I was fighting at home. The format of three minute contests was not so easy, if you make a mistake you do not have a lot of time to recover. I found this setting more stressful, very different from a regular championships, as the judoka started immediately attacking and with power.


"Every opponent was more difficult than I expected, there was no straightforward matches,” said HUIZINGA who had fought at the venue many times in his glittering career at national championships.



The M3, -90kg podium


The Dutchman revealed what he still relishes about practicing judo and his continued quest for excellence.


"In every sport you develop your body and skills. What I love about judo is that you feel your partner. It is so direct if your opponent tries to attack or defend. Fighting against each other but working together at the same time, for you both improve in training. It is not just a matter of becoming stronger or faster. Trying to technically outsmart your opponent is way more fun. The vast amount of technical options in judo makes it a sport that you will never truly master.”


When asked about a possible return to the Veteran World Championships in the future, the newly-crowned Veteran World Champion said: "Maybe in 10-15 years I will think that I should try it once again and I may that feeling to compete. We will see.”



The ippons flowed on day 2 in Amsterdam


Mr. Vladimir BARTA, IJF Head Sport Director, said: "The Veteran World Championships are a special event for all the members of the judo family. It has the feeling of a real family as there is a well-established circuit of veteran events and they know each other very well.


"There is great friendship and respect and I even think that increases every year. When I hear that there is 300 judoka from France and I see the Russian coach treating his athletes with such professionalism it shows how much the competition means to the competitors.


"It’s very special that Mark HUIZINGA (NED) is here, he was a fantastic champion, a judo hero for the Netherlands and to judoka around the world. I know judo fans loved seeing him in action again and I am sure he enjoyed it.”


Among the competitors on day 2 was also Nilton MOJUVO (MOZ) who saw action in the M1, -73kg category. MOJUVO is not just a judoka, he is the Mozambique Judo Federation and General Secretary and therefore sees it as his duty to represent his country and continent on the world stage.  


"The tournament was good, there’s a lot of fighters and countries here and it’s been a great occasion,” said MOJUVO.



Mozambique Judo Federation General Secretary Nilton MOJUVO (MOZ) leading by example in Amsterdam


"It’s excellent to be with all of the judo family, there is a great atmosphere and feeling here.  


"I lost my contest against the Russian Aleksandr KONDAKOV by juji-gatame but it was a competitive contest, I enjoyed being out there and learnt many things.


"This was my first time in the Netherlands, my first time at a Veteran World Championships, so I have learn so much and will take a lot of things away with me. The fact that I represented Mozambique here will be inspiration for all the judoa in my country. I hope the African Judo Union wil be ncoruaged to bring more represenives in future editions of the event.”



On Wednesday, day three of the Veteran World Championships, the M4 and M5 age groups will be in action and you can watch all five mats live at www.ippon.tv



Click here for the full photo gallery


Click here for the results


Click here for the medals per country


Wednesday - Veterans

Categories: M4, M5


Thursday - Veterans

Categories: M2/All women’s divisions


Location: Sporthallen Zuid

IJF Media & Communications Department
Mark Pickering, IJF Media Manager  

Nicolas Messner, IJF Media Director  

Photos © IJF Media by G. Sabau   

Judophotos.com & Judo Photos Unlimited (http://www.judophotos.com)