Saturday, August 22, 2015

2015 IJF Hall of Fame

Presenting... the class of 2015! The IJF held its second Hall of Fame ceremony at the Palace of Peace and Reconciliation on Saturday, where it inducted another 9 judo legends. The first Hall of Fame was held in 2013 during the Rio World Championships.

"Dear friends, ladies and gentlemen, colleagues and distinguished guests, this is the second IJF Hall of Fame evening following Rio in 2013," said IJF President Marius Vizer. "Today we celebrate and honour the careers of our heroes once again. It is an honour to be in your presence and to continue to develop the image and promotion of our sport together."

The first two to be inducted were World and Olympic champions Yasuhiro Yamashita and Haruki Uemura, who in a display of diplomacy, were asked to go on the stage at the same time. Yamashita is a new IJF executive committee member while Uemura is president of the Kodokan.

Yasuhiro Yamashita & Haruki Uemura
Jeon Ki-Young is a judo legend in South Korea, where he is considered one of their best players ever with three world and an Olympic title to his name.

Jeon Ki-Young
The late Shota Chochishvili was one of the great Georgian players from the Soviet Union who won the gold medal at the 1972 Olympics as a relative unknown at the age of 22. He passed away in 2009 at the age of 59, due to leukemia. His son Ramaz Chochishvili, a former European-level competitor, collected the award on his father’s behalf.

Ramaz Chochosvili
A pioneer of not only British women's judo but world women's judo as well, Karen Briggs, won her first world title in 1982 at the age of 18. She subsequently won three more world titles in 1984, 1986 and 1989 in style, using a mix of yoko-tomoe-nage, drop tai-otoshi and her unique brand of sankaku turnover.

Karen Briggs
Driulis Gonzalez represented Cuba in a whopping five Olympic Games and walked away with four medals, one of them gold in Atlanta in 1996. She is also a three-time world champion.

Driulis Gonzalez
Belgium's double World Champion Gella Vandecavaye had also won the European Championships a whopping seven times, making her one of the most successful female judokas to have emerged from Europe.

Gella Vandecavaye
World and Olympic bronze medalist Soraya Haddad of Algeria was recognized for her pioneering work in bringing glory to African judo. She won many medals in the IJF circuit with her stylish drop tai-otoshi and pick-ups.

Soraya Haddad
Hungarian-born Maria Pekli had fought in an impressive five Olympics and walked away with a bronze medal, winning the first ever judo Olympic bronze for Australia in 2000.

Maria Pekli

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