Top 6 Judo Players in South Africa best of all time


South Africa is home to some of the world’s most talented judo players. Many of them have competed on the international stage and have achieved great success.

Some of the best judo players from South Africa have become world champions, Olympic medalists, and have earned multiple national titles. These athletes have showcased their skills and determination in the sport of judo and have become an inspiration to many.

In this article, we will explore the stories of some of the best judo players in South Africa.

1. Geronay Whitebooi

Geronay Michaela Whitebooi is an internationally-acclaimed South African judoka. She is one of the most successful judoka in the African continent with a remarkable record of achievement.

In 2019, she won a silver medal at the African Games and went on to win four medals, including two golds, at the African Judo Championships.

By competing in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, she represented South Africa on the international stage and competed in the Women’s 48kg event.

Her success has earned her recognition and respect from the judo world and she continues to challenge herself and strive for excellence.

2. Zack Piontek

Zack Piontek is a South African judoka who competed in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He was competing in the men’s 90 kg category, which is a weight class in judo. Unfortunately, he was defeated in the round of 32 by Tiago Camilo, a judoka from Brazil.

This was a significant disappointment for Piontek, as judo is a sport in which South Africa has traditionally had a strong presence. Despite the loss, Piontek demonstrated great resilience and determination by competing at the highest level of competition.

He has since continued his judo career, competing in international tournaments around the world. His performance at the 2016 Olympics motivated other South African judokas and helped to spread the sport throughout the country.

3. Nikola Filipov

Nikola Filipov is a Bulgarian judoka, which means he is an athlete who practices the martial art and Olympic sport of judo. He is an accomplished judoka, having competed in the 1992 Summer Olympics in the men’s middleweight event.

It was a great honor for him to be chosen to represent Bulgaria in the Olympics. He was even more proud to be able to compete in the Olympics on the world stage. Filipov was determined to show the world his skills in judo and do his country proud.

He trained hard and worked hard to get to the Olympics. He was excited for the opportunity and was ready to take on the challenge of competing at the highest level. Despite the pressure, he was able to put aside his nerves and perform incredibly well.

His hard work and dedication paid off as he was able to reach the quarterfinals of the event. Although he didn’t win a medal, he was still proud of his performance and was recognized for his hard work and dedication.

Nikola Filipov’s story is an inspiring one that shows the power of hard work and dedication. His experience of competing in the Olympics is one that will always be remembered. He is a great example of what can be achieved with hard work and dedication.

4. Charne Griesel

Charne Griesel is a South African judoka who has accomplished a great deal in the sport. She is best known for her success at the 2022 Commonwealth Games, where she won the bronze medal in the Women’s 52 kg event.

This accomplishment is a remarkable feat, as it is the first time a South African judoka has won a medal at the Commonwealth Games. Griesel is a dedicated athlete who has worked hard to achieve her success.

She has trained extensively and dedicated herself to improving her skills in Judo. This hard work has paid off, as she was able to win the bronze medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games. Griesel’s success is an inspiration to other South African athletes.

Her accomplishment is a testament to the hard work and dedication that is required to succeed at the highest levels of sport.

Her determination to succeed, despite the odds, is a valuable lesson for all aspiring athletes. Griesel’s win at the 2022 Commonwealth Games is a remarkable achievement for South African judo.

It marks a significant milestone in the sport, and it is also a great source of pride for South Africa. Griesel’s success is a testament to the potential of South African athletes, and it is a reminder that hard work and dedication can pay off.

5. Gideon van Zyl

Gideon van Zyl is a South African judoka, an athlete who specializes in the sport of judo. He competed in the men’s 73 kg (kilogram) event in the 2012 Summer Olympics, held in London, England.

During the Olympics, Gideon van Zyl faced Rustam Orujov, a judoka from Azerbaijan, in the second round. Unfortunately, Gideon was eliminated by Rustam Orujov and did not advance to the next round.

Despite the loss, Gideon van Zyl was still able to take part in the historic 2012 Olympics, and the experience will no doubt be an invaluable memory for him.

6. Unelle Snyman

Unelle Snyman is a talented judoka from South Africa. She recently achieved an impressive feat by winning the silver medal in her event at the 2019 African Games, held in Rabat, Morocco.

Her dedication and hard work have paid off, as she has seen a great deal of success in her field. She has earned multiple medals at the African Judo Championships, further demonstrating her ability and dedication to the sport.

Unelle Snyman is a shining example of what can be achieved through dedication and hard work. Her success is an inspiration to aspiring judokas around the world and a reminder that success in any field is achievable.


South Africa is home to some of the best judo players in the world. With so many talented athletes competing for the highest honors, it is no wonder that South Africa has proven to be a formidable contender in international judo competitions.

The dedication and skill of these judokas have made South Africa a force to be reckoned with in the world of judo.

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I am a judo coach and sports expert. I have been coaching judo for the past 10 years and have been in the sport for 20 years. My expertise is in judo, but I also know a lot about other sports as well. I am also an author who has written three books on judo. LinkedIn My goal is to help people learn more about sports, especially if they are new to it or want to pick up a new sport.