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21-Year-Old Huh Mimi Triumphs to Become -57kg Judo World Champion, Eyes Paris 2024 Gold

Black Belt Plus

At just 21 years old, Huh Mimi has clinched the -57kg Judo World Champion title, demonstrating her prowess by defeating two top-ranked competitors.

In the semifinals, Huh overcame former World Champion Jessica Klimkait of Canada, setting the stage for a dramatic final against another Canadian, double World Champion Christa Deguchi.

This victory is particularly sweet for Huh, as she had previously lost to both Klimkait and Deguchi in significant matches. She faced Klimkait in the 2023 Ulaanbaatar Grand Slam semifinals and Deguchi in the 2022 Jerusalem World Masters.

Now ranked No. 3 in the world, Huh's recent wins establish her as a formidable contender for the upcoming 2024 Paris Olympics. However, challenges await. Huh has yet to overcome Japan’s Haruka Funakubo and Mongolia’s Enkhriilen Lkhagvatogoo, against whom she has a history of losses primarily due to penalties rather than being outmaneuvered.

Interestingly, penalties have been a common factor in Huh's defeats, including her past matches against Klimkait and Funakubo.

Yet, her recent strategic victory over Deguchi in a prolonged Golden Score bout at the 2024 Abu Dhabi World Championships indicates significant growth in her tactical approach.

Looking forward, Huh is likely preparing intensely for any potential rematch with Lkhagvatogoo in Paris, aiming to avert a fourth defeat and solidify her standing as a top judoka on the world stage.

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