Paris 2024 | Will Noël van ‘t End and Michael Korrel win medal on tatami? – Men’s judo preview

Paris 2024 | Will Noël van ‘t End and Michael Korrel win medal on tatami? – Men’s judo preview

From day 1, thanks to Eurosport and HBO Max, you will be on the edge of your seat at the judo tournament. The lightweights will start the Olympic tournament in Paris and that always ensures a dazzling judo, where you will see someone on their back within a second. The men up to 60kg are lightning fast and the Netherlands has a chance at a medal.

Tornike Tsjakadoea, the Frisian with the Georgian name who achieved a fantastic fifth place at the Games in Tokyo. That can only happen again, you would think, but the competition has not been idle and the rules have changed a bit for everyone and that change was not easy for Tornike.

But Tsjakadoea is in good shape and recently even won from the Spanish world champion of 2023 Francisco Garrigos. He is one of the contenders. The current world champion is the young Georgian Giorgi Sardalashvili. A great talent, but Japan brings in Ryuju Nagayama to keep the Olympic title in Japan. Outsiders are Yang (TPE), Mkheidze (FRA), Aghayev (AZE) and therefore Tsjakadoea.

Paris 2024 | Will Noël van ‘t End and Michael Korrel win medal on tatami? – Men’s judo preview

Tokyo 2020 | Home country Japan wins gold in men’s judo -60 kg


The little Dutchman was the best performing man in 2021… In short, the tournament was simply disappointing for the Netherlands. That has to improve and the signals are also green. The men have become better, more mature and have more experience, but the intensity in this Olympic cycle was intense because many new judo countries have joined. Countries that you would not immediately expect, such as Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, all from the former Soviet corner.


Tokyo 2020 | Judoka Tsjakadoea loses in quarterfinals and also just misses out on bronze


Yet Japan is still the leading country and we see that on day two when we see brother and sister Hifumi and Uta Abe at work. They shine up to 66kg for men and up to 52kg for women and have been untouchable since they both won the Olympic title on the same day in 2021. There is a very good chance that they will prolong their title. No Dutch input on day two and all the more opportunity to watch these exceptionally good judokas. So a day of enjoyment!


Tokyo 2020 | Judo – women -52 kilo: Abe Uta from Japan wins gold


The class for men up to 73kg is not a Dutch class, no own contribution, but a few top athletes from Azerbaijan, Japan, Italy and Switzerland. Write down those names for the semi-finals. That is to say… anything can happen because the competition is murderous and a banana peel is lurking in this class where the differences are minimal.

Hidayat Heydarov seems to be the big favorite to succeed his hero Elnur Mammadli. He became the first and only Olympic champion for his country Azerbaijan in 2008 and Heydarov can succeed him. Be there in the preliminary rounds because anything can happen in the morning session!


Tokyo 2020 | Spot the differences – Henk Grol loses again to Uzbek


From day four, the Netherlands will be on fire. In the women’s category with world champion Joanne van Lieshout, but in the men’s category Frank de Wit will be in his third Olympic appearance. He was in the final of the European Championships after suffering from many injuries, so a sensation is on the horizon, but De Wit has not exactly had it easy. He was the revelation in the previous Olympic cycle and could not find his form to reach the top eight on the seeding list.

So he can be in anyone’s pool. Who are the top favorites? Definitely the Georgian Tato Grigalashvili, three-time world champion. Then the rock-solid Matthias Casse from Belgium. A great guy and on his way to becoming the best ever in Belgium. He won bronze during Tokyo 2020. Takanori Nagase from Japan became champion and now those two may face each other in the quarter finals. Then you understand that you will once again see top judo on day four.


Tokyo 2020 | Henk Grol loses again to Oltiboev – now even faster


If anyone can show great judo, it is Noël van ‘t End. It was a pleasure in 2019 when he addressed Anton Geesink in his thoughts to give a repeat of the trick that great Anton did in 1964 in the Budokan in Tokyo. The Kent Clark of judo (he is often compared to Superman in his looks). But on the mat Van ‘t End really needs superpowers, because he is ‘only’ an outsider for the title up to 90kg.

He may have the most beautiful style, but beautiful is not always efficient, and at the Games, Van ‘t End will have to appeal to his luck at some point. That did not work in 2016 or in 2021. But at 32, he could well score. Yet he is certainly not a favorite because that heavy burden lies with the 2021 Olympic champion Lasha Bekauri.

The Georgian defends his title and turns 24 in the week of the Games. A man who can do everything, can really get excited and pulls himself up in the atmosphere, but he can also lose. That makes this class so unpredictable. World Cup finalist Nemanja Majdov from Serbia is also so unpredictable and can compete with the best. And another 2022 World Cup finalist Christian Parlati from Italy is probably in the group with Bekauri.

A contender for Japan is Sanshiro Murao, but he still has to prove himself at such a big tournament. Apart from Bekauri, there is a large range of outsiders and Van ‘t End can be our trump card on day five. Also keep an eye on Sanne van Dijke on this day, the only Dutch medal winner of the Games in Tokyo is on the mat for women.


The insane world title of Noël van t End – Monday at 12 noon


On paper, Michael Korrel has the best chance of a Dutch medal for men. His social media channels are called Korrel for Gold and he is entitled to use them. He has already won many major tournaments, but at the World Championships and Olympic level things are not going well yet. With a bit of luck, the man from Vianen will become a father just before the Games and who knows, that might bring some extra inspiration. He is now 30 years old and time to harvest.

In this dynamic class new spectacular athletes are emerging every time. They are explosive, experienced, they know what they are doing and yet a few always rise above the rest. These Games will give a different external experience. It is about the form of the day because in this class there is no clear favorite.

World champion Kotsoiev is from Azerbaijan, gifted piano player Sulamanidze from Georgia can do it on the mat. Canadian Shady Elnahas is eager and Portuguese two-time world champion Jorge Fonseca is a jumping wild. Uzbekistan has the tall 2022 world champion Turoboyev. In between, Korrel walks his path with pitfalls everywhere.

We can’t count on anything, but we know that Korrel can do it on day six. The Japanese Aaron Wolf defends his title but he is also not certain because in every round a hungry opponent is in the way. It is a wonderful class. Michael Korrel has it in him to keep a cool head on this day when it is needed. He will need his fatherly powers and our support.


World Judo Championship | Michael Korrel wins second Dutch bronze medal in Tashkent


On day seven we are treated to the international dessert. Can Teddy Riner, who is now eleven times world champion, win his third Olympic gold medal? It brings him level with Tadahiro Nomura who won three golds spread over 1996, 2000 and 2004.

Riner is doing more for the fifth time, won two golds, bronze at Tokyo 2020 (a bitter pill) and gold with the French team, but he claimed the gold. The one who took home the title in 2021 was the tall Czech Lukas Krpalek. Can he stop Riner? The two have avoided each other a lot in recent years for this one day.

But we’ll give you a tip, be there early on day seven with our Jelle Snippe who is making his debut and has taken on the big boys in recent years… We don’t expect a medal, but this class certainly houses half of all the opponents that the Tukker should have.

It could bring him a top eight position, although the gods will have to help him a bit with the draw. Snippe comes from the class up to 100 kg and appeared to get a taste for it with the big boys as a relative lightweight. As a heavyweight, Snippe succeeds Henk Grol. In 2012, Grol was the last Dutch man to win an Olympic medal (bronze). That has to improve, because Dutch judo is hungry for a new hero. In any case, it will be enjoyable on day seven of the Games.


Tokyo 2020 | judo – Legend Riner consoles himself by winning bronze


Eurosport and HBO Max will broadcast the battle for gold, silver and bronze live during the Olympic Games of Paris 2024. Just like in Tokyo and Beijing, we will bring you all the matches in Paris live with a large team of experts and commentators, with all the emotions, reactions, analyses and backgrounds. Follow our new channel on Whatsapp already?

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