Odivelas 2018: Record-breaking numbers

Judo World Championships set new milestones

Judokas holding each other while falling onto the tatami Record-breaking numbers at the 2018 Judo World Championships © • Rui Telmo

The 2018 Judo World Championships concluded in Odivelas, Portugal, on 18 November after three days of epic action.

It was a record-breaking competition in many ways. Here are some of the key numbers:

Athletes – 268

A total of 268 judokas from 42 countries competed in 13 individual and two team events over three days. It is a new record for the sport and made it the most competitive World Championships to date.

Five golds for South Korea

With their dedicated training centre and full support from the government, South Korea’s development came to fruition at Odivelas 2018. They left with three individual golds and both men’s and women’s team titles, making them a formidable force heading into the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.

Soohee Choi and Jung Min Lee were stand out performers.

Choi beat two Paralympic champions in France’s Sandrine Martinet and Li Liqing on her way to gold in the women’s up to 48kg. Lee grabbed the win in the men’s up to 81kg despite nursing a serious knee injury.

One gold for Brazil

Brazil’s Alana Maldonado was delighted with her country’s gold two years after it hosted the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

Competing in the women’s up to 70kg against a strong field, Maldonado made her way to the top of the podium after a tense fight with Uzbekistan’s Asian champion Vasila Aliboeva.

Mexico’s Paralympic champion Lenia Ruvalcaba was also in the mix but could only manage bronze.

Media – 40

Journalists and broadcasters from all over the world came to cover the 2018 Judo World Championships, from countries including Japan, Ukraine, Great Britain, Poland and France. Their attendance made it the most covered Worlds in the history of the sport.

Live broadcast – 57,000 viewers

All three days of Odivelas 2018 were shown live on the International Blind Sports Federation’s (IBSA) YouTube channel and IBSA Judo’s Facebook page. Expert insight and commentary was delivered by Georgian Olympian Esther Stam.

The coverage was viewed by more than 57,000 people who watched the competition unfold for in excess of 3,600 hours.