Written by Jo Crowley on 26 Aug 2023
Photographs by Emanuele Di Feliciantonio, Tamara Kulumbegashvili


France and Japan decided that in the heavyweight women’s group they would each place an athlete in the semi-final stage. It’s an old rivalry and one which has no predictable result. The French heavyweight women’s school is the best in the world at the moment and so finding Celia Cancan winning again and again was no surprise.

Tomoka Inoue (JPN) employed her o-uchi-gari and uchi-mata favourites throughout, combining them neatly in ne-waza, to win her quarter.

Inoue (JPN) vs Aktas (EST), round 2

On the other side of the draw France slipped up, their second entry in the category, Leonie Minkada-Caquineau losing to unseeded Korean Hyeonji Lee to a waza-ari in golden score. Lee gave a stronger account of herself in the next round, beating Kosnarova (CZE) by waza-ari and 3 penalties, just to be sure!

Lee then passed Tunisian Zeineb Troudi in the semi-final to guarantee herself a medal. It would be an all-Asian final, Korea against Japan.

Lee's semi-final win

Troudi dropped into the bronze medal contest to face Banaszewska (POL) who had just beaten Tengelbayeva (KAZ) in the repechage final. Troudi was no match for the Polish fighter though and was thrown for ippon cleanly without too much resistance. It was a bronze medal for Poland.

Banaszewska (POL) wins bronze

The second medal of the category was contested by Helene Schrattenholzer (AUT) and Cancan of France. The medal went to France after Cancan’s top grip and aggressive throwing ability became too much for the Austrian. An ippon throw and a bronze were the perfect reward for a great day of judo.

Celia Cancan (FRA) makes it to the podium

The final was also a lesson in commitment with the Korean approaching the contest without fear, searching for the throw throughout, and finding it. She put in an introductory attack for waza-ari but without waiting much longer attacked again and with a swift change of direction, threw Inoue to the rear for ippon, securing gold and also deciding the top of the medal table for the whole championship. Without a 3rd gold medal, Azerbaijan hold position at the top!

Final (+70 kg)
INOUE Tomoka (JPN) vs LEE Hyeonji (KOR)

Bronze Medal Fights (+70 kg)

Medals, cheques and gifts presented by General Secretary of the National Olympic Committee of Venezuela & President of the Venezuela Judo Federation Mrs Katiuska Santaella and Director of the Your Post Foundation Ms Senka Klaric

Final Results (+70 kg)
1. LEE Hyeonji (KOR)
2. INOUE Tomoka (JPN)
3. CANCAN Celia (FRA)
5. TROUDI Zeineb (TUN)

The +70 kg medallists