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Martial Arts The Best Olympic Athletes in Judo  

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This is a list of the best Olympic athletes in the sport of judo. Olympians on this list have competed at the Olympic games in judo. Olympic athletes on this list have made it all the way to the Olympics in their sport and have either won their event or did not even place. But this list isn't just about winners, times, distances and points, it's about who are the public's favorite Olympic athletes in judo. Olympians on this list have captured the hearts of the public in one way or another, and have led their peers in judo competitions.

Only the greatest judo Olympic athletes are featured on the front page of this list, so vote for your favorites and let only the best judo Olympians see the top. Judo athletes who have competed in the Olympics don't all have what it takes to be called the "best" in their Olympic sport, so vote carefully and make sure that only the true greats get a place on the front page of this list. Athletes here include everyone from Oscar Braison, to Leandro Guilheiro, to Ronda Rousey. You may copy this fact-based list to build your own just like it, re-rank it to fit your opinions, then publish it to share it on Facebook, Twitter or any other social sites you frequent. (79 items)

After you are finished voting up the best Olympic judo athletes, head on over and check out this list of countries with the most Olympic skeleton medals.

list ordered by

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Ranker Video
zibi added age 50 Toshihiko Koga is a retired Judoka and Olympic champion who competed in the -71 kg and -78 kg divisions. Koga is regarded as having perhaps the greatest Ippon seoi nage ever.

2
298 141
Teddy Riner is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Judo
age 28 Teddy Pierre-Marie Riner is a French judoka. He has won seven World Championships gold medals, the first male judoka to do so, and an Olympic gold medal. He has also won four gold medals at the ...more

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68 20
Tadahiro Nomura is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Judo
Arthur Roderick added Tadahiro Nomura age 43 Tadahiro Nomura is one of the most famous judo competitors in Japan. He is the only judoka in the world who has won three Olympic gold medals in a row, all in the extra lightweight division.

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131 66
Irakli Tsirekidze is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Judo
age 35 Irakli Tsirekidze is a Georgian judoka. On September 15, 2007, he won a gold medal at world judo championship beating Greek Ilias Iliadis by yuko.

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105 48
Ryoko Tani is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Judo
age 42 Ryoko Tani is a politician and former judoka.

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44 23
Yael Arad is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Judo
age 50 Yael Arad is an Israeli judoka. She was the first Israeli to win an Olympic medal. She is widely recognized as one of Israel's most successful athletes and is credited with bringing judo into ...more

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54 33
Ariel Ze'evi is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Judo
age 41 Ariel "Arik" Ze'evi is an Israeli judoka, widely recognized as the country's most prominent judoka since the 1990s to date. Ze'evi, a dan 6 black belt in Judo, has had a long and ...more

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57 45
Naidangiin Tüvshinbayar is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Judo
age 33 Naidangiin Tüvshinbayar is a Mongolian judoka. At the 2006 Asian Games he finished in joint fifth place in both the heavyweight division and the open weight class division. In the same ...more

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15 7
Anton Geesink is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Judo
Allan K Simon added Died at 76 (1934-2010) Antonius Johannes "Anton" Geesink was a Dutch 10th-dan judoka from Utrecht. He was a two-time World Judo Champion, Olympic Gold Medalist and won 21 European championships. He was 6 ft ...more

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12 7
Shohei Ono is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Judo
Sebbei added Shohei Ono

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Benjamin Behrla is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Judo
age 32 Benjamin Behrla is a German judoka, competing in the 100 kg-category. Behrla, who is currently ranked at 2nd Dan, won Bronze Medals at the 2008 and the 2010 European Judo Championships. He ...more

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14 11
Ole Bischof is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Judo
age 38 Ole Bischof is a German judoka. He is trained by 1984 Olympic gold medalist Frank Wieneke.

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11 9
Henk Grol is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Judo
age 32 Hindrik Harmannus Arnoldus "Henk" Grol is a Dutch judoka. Grol competed in the 2007 European Judo Championships in Belgrade, Serbia in the men's under 90 kg, as a replacement for Mark ...more

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29 33
Travis Stevens is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Judo
Travis Stevens age 32 Travis Stevens is a judoka from United States who competed in 2008 Olympics. He participated in the 2012 Summer Olympics, losing against the previous winner of the 2008 Summer Olympics, Ole ...more

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38 44
Tiago Camilo is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Judo
age 35 Tiago Henrique de Oliveira Camilo is a judoka from Brazil, who won the silver medal in the lightweight division at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia. In the final he was defeated by ...more

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37 43
Kim Jae-Bum is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Judo
age 33 Kim Jae-Bum is a male South Korean judoka. Kim won a gold medal in the -73 kg class at the 2004 World Junior Judo Championships in Budapest, Hungary. At the 2005 Asian Judo Championships in ...more

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21 24
Masato Uchishiba is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Judo
age 39 Masato Uchishiba is a Japanese judoka who won the gold medal in the men's under 66 kg division at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece, and at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China. ...more

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6 6
Ludwig Paischer is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Judo
age 36 Ludwig Paischer is an Austrian judoka.

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Ronda Rousey is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Judo
age 31 Ronda Jean Rousey is an American mixed martial artist, judoka and actress. She is the first and current UFC Women's Bantamweight Champion, as well as the last Strikeforce Women's Bantamweight ...more

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32 39
Elnur Mammadli is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Judo
age 29 Elnur Mammadli is an Azerbaijani judoka. He won the gold medal during the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the -73 kg division. In the final he beat the favorite Wang Ki-Chun. However, Wang suffered ...more

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9 11
Edith Bosch is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Judo
age 37 Edith Bosch is a former Dutch judoka. Her Olympic debut was at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney where she finished seventh. She won the silver medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics in the middleweight ...more

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5 6
Stéphanie Possamaï is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Judo
Stéphanie Possamaï age 37 Stéphanie Possamaï is a French judoka. Possamaï won a bronze medal in the -78 kg category at the 2008 Summer Olympics.

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5 6
Ruben Houkes is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Judo
age 38 Ruben Houkes is a Dutch judoka. Houkes won gold in the men's under 60-kilo class at the 2007 World Judo Championships. He won the bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the Mens 60kg

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Choi Min-Ho is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Judo
age 37 Choi Min-ho is a male South Korean judoka who competed in the 2004 Summer Olympics and 2008 Summer Olympics in the 60kg extra-lightweight category. At the 2008 Summer Olympics, he ended all 5 of ...more

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7 9
Paweł Nastula is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Judo
AndrzejPopławski added age 47 Paweł Marcin Nastula is a Polish judoka and mixed martial artist. He was the 1995 and 1997 Judo World Champion, and 1996 gold medallist at the Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, winning ...more

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23 30
Lucie Décosse is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Judo
age 36 Lucie Décosse is a retired female French judoka.

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Waldemar Legień is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Judo
babybear added age 54 Waldemar Legień is a retired Polish judoka. He is the manager of Racing Club de France in Paris. He won two Olympic gold medals in different weight classes, in 1988 and 1992. He is also the only ...more

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11 15
Isao Inokuma is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Judo
Died at 63 (1938-2001) Isao Inokuma was a judoka who competed in the +80 kg and Open divisions.

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Aurélio Miguel is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Judo
Felipe Scama added Aurélio Miguel

Aurélio Fernández Miguel is a Brazilian judoka and Olympic champion. Among his best sporting achievements are his gold medal at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, and a bronze medal at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. 

Miguel started to compete internationally, winning the silver medal at the 1983 Pan American Games in Caracas, Venezuela. He won the gold medal in the 1987 Pan American Games, again fighting in the under 95 kg category.  In 1987 he also won a bronze medal at the World Judo Championships. 

At the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul he became Olympic Champion, winning the -95 kg class by beating Marc Meiling from West Germany in the final. 

At the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona he placed ninth. He won a silver medal at the 1993 World Judo Championships in Hamilton, losing the final to Hungarian judoka Antal Kovács. 

At the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta he received a bronze medal, and next year he won a silver medal at the 1997 World Judo Championships in Paris, behind gold winner Pawel Nastula from Poland.

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Peter Seisenbacher is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Judo
Allan K Simon added Peter Seisenbacher age 58 Peter Seisenbacher is a judo coach and retired judoka from Austria. He competed in the middleweight category at the 1980, 1984 and 1988 Olympics and won two gold medals, in 1984 and 1988. He ...more

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2 4
Lucija Polavder is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Judo
age 33 Lucija Polavder is a Slovene judoka. Polavder competed at the 2004 Summer Olympics where she didn't advance from the first round. At the 2008 Summer Olympics she advancet to the semifinals, ...more

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Alina Dumitru is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Judo
age 35 Alina Dumitru is a Romanian judoka, one-time Olympic champion and eight-time European champion. At the 2008 Summer Olympics she defeated Japanese double gold medallist Ryoko Tani, who until then ...more

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5 8
Giulia Quintavalle is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Judo
age 35 Giulia Quintavalle is an Italian judoka. She won the gold medal in the -57 kg weight class at the 2008 Summer Olympics.

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5 8
Yvonne Bönisch is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Judo
age 37 Yvonne Bönisch is a German judoka. She won a gold medal in the lightweight division at the 2004 Summer Olympics. 1987 she began with Judo at JV Ludwigsfelde.

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1 3
Frazer Will is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Judo
Frazer Will age 35 Frazer Will is a judoka from Star City, Saskatchewan, Canada, who won gold medals at the 2006 and 2007 Pan American Judo Championships, the 2007 Chinese Open and four national championships in ...more

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7 11
Askhat Zhitkeyev is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Judo
age 36 Askhat Zhitkeyev is a Kazakh judoka. He won a silver medal at the 2008 Olympics in the 90-100 kg division and a bronze medal at the 2001 world judo championships in the -100 kg division. He won ...more

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13 19
Satoshi Ishii is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Judo
age 32 Satoshi Ishii is a Japanese judoka and mixed martial artist noted for winning a gold medal in Olympic Judo at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China, a silver medal at the 2006 Asian ...more

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9 14
Ryan Reser is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Judo
Ryan Reser age 35 Ryan Reser is a male judoka from the United States, who won the gold medal in the men's lightweight division at the 2007 Pan American Games, defeating Brazil's Leandro Guilheiro in the final. He ...more

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9 14
Valerie Gotay is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Judo
Valerie Gotay age 42 Valerie Lafon-Gotay is a former judoka from the United States.

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9 14
Amar Benikhlef is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Judo
age 36 Amar Benikhlef is an Algerian judoka who competed in the middleweight division. He won the silver medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

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2 5
Benjamin Darbelet is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Judo
age 37 Benjamin Darbelet is a French judoka. He earned a silver medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the -66 kg category. Darbelet has recently been competing in the -73kg weight category. Some of ...more

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2 5
Sergei Aschwanden is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Judo
age 42 Sergei Aschwanden is a Swiss judoka born in Bern.

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2 5
Roman Gontiuk is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Judo
age 34 Roman Volodymyrovych Hontyuk, also spelled Roman Gontyuk, is a male judoka from Ukraine. He won a silver medal in the half-middleweight division at the 2004 Summer Olympics and bronze medal in ...more

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5 9
Taraje Williams-Murray is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Judo
Taraje Williams-Murray age 31 Taraje Williams-Murray is an American Judoka. He graduated from high school at the age of 15 and went to college. He was coached by former Olympian Jimmy Pedro. After an initial health scare, ...more

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5 9
Ayumi Tanimoto is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Judo
age 37 Ayumi Tanimoto born August 4, 1981 in Anjo, Aichi, is a Japanese female judoka. She was coached by Toshihiko Koga, who is a gold medalist at the Barcelona Olympics and a silver medalist at the ...more

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5 9
Edmond Topalli is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Judo
age 35 Edmond Topalli is an Albanian judoka, who played for the half-middleweight category. Topalli represented Albania at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, where he competed for the men's ...more

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5 9
Wang Ki-Chun is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Judo
age 29 Wang Ki-Chun is a male judoka from South Korea. He became known for beating the 2004 Olympic champion Lee Won-Hee in the qualification matches for the 2007 World Championships and the 2008 ...more

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5 9
Sasha Mehmedovic is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Judo
Sasha Mehmedovic age 33 Sasha Mehmedovic is an athlete.

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Oscar Braison is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Judo
age 33 Óscar Brayson is a Cuban judoka. Born in Camagüey, he won the bronze medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics.

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Movlud Miraliyev is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Judo
age 44 Movlud Miraliyev is a retired Azerbaijani judoka. The Azerbaijani finished in joint fifth place in the half-heavyweight division at the 2004 Summer Olympics, having lost the bronze medal match ...more