Veterans are very passionate about judo. It is not their full-time job, unlike the case of professional athletes. It is their life!
Lisa Capriotti from the USA returned to the competition for the first time after having surgery and won bronze in the F3 -57kg category. “It is a very motivating event. The women’s competition is full of talented judoka and I am very honoured to be taking part here. I won the gold medal in 2016 but was later injured. This is my first event after the injury and I am very happy with the result. I will, for sure, take part at the next edition of this event.”
Veterans worlds silver medallist in the M2 -90kg category, Bekzod Turaboev from Uzbekistan, is also very excited. For him this event is not only about getting a medal but showing an example to the judoka of Uzbekistan. He is the Vice-President of the Uzbekistan Judo Federation, responsible for the professional judoka. Bekzod commented, “I hope by winning the silver here today I can motivate Uzbek judoka to always aim for the best. Judo is part of us and no matter our age we should always respect each other, not only on the mat but also beyond it. Generally I am very happy and thankful for the opportunity to be here!”
It is also not just about people who still work in judo after their professional career. The gold medallist of the F4 -57kg category is a plastic surgeon who decided to restart her judo activities at the beginning of this year. Here is what Catarina Diniz of Portugal has to say about it, “I am very happy about winning the medal. I have been off judo for 19 years and decided to take part in this championships and it’s been a really nice restart. It’s always a pleasure to win but the most important part is the way we are when we are here, with a very friendly atmosphere. I am a plastic surgeon and did not train for a long time. I resumed my judo at the beginning of this year, and I am very happy with the gold medal that I won.”
This concludes the Veterans World Championships 2021 in Lisbon. We wish the best of luck to all judoka and are looking forward to see everyone at the next judo events.