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T.MURRAY-WILLIAMS: After beating Hiroaka my mind was calm

Taraje Murray Williams is 28-year-old former USA judoka. He fought in the category U60kg. Taraje gave us interview about his career, his opinion about top judokas and what was the reason to finish the career.

taraje.jpg 

100 PERCENT JUDO: Taraje, you were participant at the Olympic's in Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008. As the top athlete who was two-time Olympian do you still follow judo ? And if you do, what is your opinion about the new rules ? No leg grabbing anymore and shido's are not what they used to be.

 

TARAJE MURRAY-WILLIAMS: I still follow my Olympic teammates careers and also deliver seminars on occasion. With less high flying exchanges Judo is far less exciting and far less complex strategically. 

taraje_training.jpg

 

100 PERCENT JUDO: At the OG 2008 in first round you beat London2012 silver medalist Hiraoki Hiraoka of Japan, what was in your head after you won the fight ? Do you think that in that time Tadahiro Nomura could do at least one more Olympics ?

 

TARAJE MURRAY-WILLIAMS: After beating Hiroaka my mind was calm. I knew my dream was coming to fruition. Unfortunately, I was a few matches short of the medal stand. Nomura could have competed but would have had a hard time winning. His speed was beginning to suffer. 

 

100 PERCENT JUDO: By your opinion who is the best on the mat today and who is the biggest in the history of judo ?

 

TARAJE MURRAY-WILLIAMS: I am not sure I can give a complete assessment on who is the best today as I am not up to date on world rankings. I can say I am a Kayla Harrison, Marti Malloy and Travis Stevens fan. They have delivered results that mark a new generation of American excellence in judo.

 

Best ever in judo is arguable. The greats include Jimmy Pedro, Israel Hernandez, Ronda Rousey, Mike Swain, Douillet, Dr. Rhadi Ferguson, Flavio Canto, Nomura, Koga and the list goes on.

taraje_tmenov.jpg

 

100 PERCENT JUDO: You will celebrate this year your 28-birthday. What was the reason that you ended your judo career while you were in "best-judo-years" ?

 

TARAJE MURRAY-WILLIAMS: I will turn 29 this year. I quit judo before reaching my prime because I wasn't making any money. 

 

Photos by: Taraje Murray-Williams archive 

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