Sport week: Six judo storylines for Rio 2016

Six potential storylines to follow heading into September’s Paralympic Games. 03 Jun 2016
Antonio Tenorio and Vladimir Fedin hold on to each other with heads bowed close together, locked in battle

London 2012 Paralympic Games

ⒸLieven Coudenys

Men’s storylines

-Azerbaijan’s Ramil Gasimov-Ukraine’s Dmytro Solovey rivalry

World No. 1 Dmytro Solovey (-73kg) seeks to win his second Paralympic gold after topping the podium in London four years ago. However, he will face tough-opposition from Azerbaijan’s World No.2 Ramil Gasimov, who subsequently defeated Solovey at IBSA 2014 Judo World Championships, Odivelas 2015 European Championships and Seoul 2015 IBSA World Games to claim triple gold.

-Brazil’s Antonio Tenorio seeking a record sixth Paralympic medal on home soil

The judo record-man is hoping to extend his five-medal streak on home soil to end his career on a high note. Tenorio took gold in his Paralympic debut at Atlanta 1996 and then reclaimed the title three more times, becoming the first judoka to win four consecutive Paralympic golds. The 45-year-old collected bronze in the up to 100kg category at London 2012 before switching to the up to 90kg, the category he will be competing in at Rio 2016.

- Ukraine’s Kosinov hoping to bounce back after two defeats against Mexico’s Avila Sanchez

London 2012 gold medallist Olexandr Kosinov (-81kg) could not reassert his dominance at the IBSA 2014 Judo World Championships and the IBSA 2015 World Games, defeated both times by Mexico’s Eduardo Avila Sanchez. Ukraine´s World No. 1 later claimed the European title, hoping this will act as a catalyst to finally defeat Avila Sanchez at Rio 2016.

Women’s storylines

-Who is going to claim the up to 70kg vacant throne?

Spain’s Carmen Herrera (-70kg) remained undefeated over three Paralympic Games between 2004 and 2012. Now that she has announced her retirement from competitive judo, the question arises as to who will claim the vacant throne in Rio. On paper, it should be a tough-contest among Russia’s World No. 1 and European champion Tatiana Savostyanova, her teammate and IBSA World Games gold medallist Svitlana Chepurina and Hungary’s reigning world champion Nikolett Szabo.

-Ukraine targets three Paralympic golds

Nataliya Nikolaychyk (-52kg), Inna Cherniak (-57kg) and Iryna Husieva (-63kg) have high chances of adding three golds to Ukraine’s Rio 2016 judo medal haul, considering the three of them are the current World No. 1 in their respective categories, as well as the reigning world and European champions.

-Is Yanping Yuan invincible in the +70kg?

China’s 40-year-old claimed Beijing 2008 and London 2012 golds, won the world title in 2014 and will start as the strong favourite to top the podium at this year´s Paralympic Games. Russia’s IBSA World Games gold medallist Irina Kalyanova, Turkey’s European champion Mesme Tasbag and Belarus’ World No. 1 Arina Kachan will try to stop her astonishing winning streak in Rio.

Editor’s note: Each sport on the Rio 2016 Paralympic programme will have a dedicated week of featured content published on Every week a new sport will be featured and the series will run until September’s Games, helping the public understand more about the 22 sports being contested in Rio.



Sport fans from around the world can now buy their Paralympic tickets for Rio 2016 from authorised ticket resellers (ATRs)

The IPC’s Global ATR is Jet Set Sports, and Rio 2016 tickets and packages can be purchased on the CoSport website.

Residents of Brazil can buy 2016 Paralympics tickets directly from the Rio 2016 website.