Anton Geesink “A giant has just passed away,”

Dutch judo Olympic champion Anton Geesink, the first non-Japanese to win a world judo championship, has died yesterday 27th august 2010 at the age of 76.

Geesink shocked the Japanese by winning a world championship title in 1961, the first non-Japanese to do so, and won a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics in 1964.

He won further world championship titles in 1964 and 1965 and a total of 21 European judo championship titles and was several times Dutch judo champion.

“A giant has just passed away,” the International Judo Federation said on its website, adding that Geesink’s work to promote the sport had helped make it universally popular.

Born in the central Dutch city of Utrecht, Geesink was a 10th dan judoka.

Video's of Anton Geesink in Action : Judoschool Jan Snijders