The Alau Ice Palace rings up the curtain for the 2015 World Judo Championships

Hundreds of athletes, coaches and officials completed their arrival to the capital of Kazakhstan, Astana for the 2015 World Judo Championships which will take place from the 24-30 August. To reveal the exact numbers, we will witness high classed actions from 729 athletes from 120 nations over the next week. The tournament will take place at the 8000 seated Alau Ice Palace Arena with the first six days hosting the individual events whilst the last and final day to deliver the team event. The tournament offers 900 qualififcation points for all the winners. 

“The World Championships are a celebration of our sport. A celebration of elite performers testing themselves on the year’s greatest stage with sports fans around the world enjoying the breathless action. Every nation and every judoka has earned this opportunity to compete at the World Championships because of years of sacrifice, dedication and values of judo guiding them through their careers. We have the pleasure to see judoka from the world around going toe-to-toe and ever-increasing numbers from developing nations…

… I wish good luck to the organisers, officials and the competitors. I trust that the values of our sport will be at the forefront of your performance on the tatami and in the mind of all the officials and staff members. I wish you a successful stay in Astana”, concluded Mr. Marius Vizer, the President of the International Judo Federation. 

The original selection included nine judoka, one more than the actual team arrived in Astana. Sadly, Ashley McKenzie (-60kg) had to step down due to an injury. Nevertheless, missing the Worlds will not stop the lightweight ace to secure his spot for the upcoming Olympic Games. Back to the Worlds… The last person to win a World Championships medal was Euan Burton who claimed bronze in Tokyo 2010 at the -81kg category. The target is well set for our Olympic hopefuls.

The British team will begin their Worlds journey on the second day of the event with Kelly EDWARDS and Colin OATES. Edwards will start her route against Odette GIUFFRIDA (ITA) in the -52kg category whilst Oates will meet Kemal AMANOV (TKM) in the first round of the -66kg category. 24 hours later the spot light will zoom onto Nekoda DAVIS as she faces Ilina ILIEVA (BUL) in the -57kg category. Day four will hopefully bring back the memories and the routine for Alice SCHLESINGER from the 2009 World Championships where she took bronze for her ex-representative nation. No doubt she knows how it’s done but the question whether she can repeat her previous success will remain open until the day. Her first contest in the -63kg category will be against the winner of Franssen JUUL (NED) vs Gulnar HAYYTBAEVA (TKM). 

From the second half of the week Sally CONWAY will continue to keep you all at the edge of your seat as she enters the arena in opposition of Chizuru ARAI (JPN) in the -70kg category. On the same day we will see our strongest duet of the -78kg category with Natalie POWELL vs Assunta GALEONE (ITA) and Gemma GIBBONS vs Samantha BLEIER (USA). To end the show , Ben FLETCHER will go ahead to face Frederik JOERGENSEN (DEN) in the -100kg category. The preliminaries will begin at 11:00am (local time) with the final block starting at 17:00 (local time). 



25th August, Tuesday: -52kg (Kelly EDWARDS) -66kg (Colin OATES)
26th August, Wednesday: -57kg (Nekoda DAVIS) 
27th August, Thursday: -63kg (Alice SCHLESINGER) 
28th August, Friday: -70kg (Sally CONWAY) -78kg (Natalie POWELL, Gemma GIBBONS) 
29th August, Saturday: -100kg (Ben FLETCHER)