Maria Pekli in the semi-final of the Beijing Olympics. Pic: Adam Head
Message from the Chair:
As you may have seen in the media and on social media today we are thrilled to announce that the International Judo Federation has recognised two Australian female Judo players for extraordinary accomplishments.
1988 Olympic Judo Gold medallist Sue Williams OAM, has been recognised for her extraordinary accomplishments and contribution to the sport with acknowledgement and promotion in grade to the master 7th Dan.
The three-time Silver Medallist World Championship winner, and Australia’s most successful international competitor, has now become the highest ranked female in the sport of judo in Australia and the only female to have been graded a 7th Dan in the Oceania region.
Current Judo Australia Technical Director and Head Coach and 5-time Olympian Maria Pekli has been promoted in grade to 5th Dan.
Maria is currently the only Australian in the International Hall of Fame, Olympic Medallist and 5-time Olympian with several top 5 results at both Olympics/World Championships
Both Dan Grade Promotions for Extraordinary Accomplishment were endorsed by the International Judo Federation.
The Profile Committee led by Shannon Byrne and Jodie Hawkins have been continuing to build relationships with mainstream media outlets and we look forward to this story running on commercial channels in the weeks ahead. A media release has been drafted and distributed which provides additional information about these achievements and the Strategic priority Judo Australia is giving to growing the recognition of, and commitment to growing the participation of women in our sport. An important component of this strategy is to ensure Judo has a sustainable foundation for which to further develop the female participation base, and recognise the achievements so far, in particular the very successful female judoka heritage.