Heroic Judo National Champion Found Dead At 27

Story By: Joseph GolderSub-EditorJoseph Golder, Agency:  Golder’s News And Sport

This French national judo champion has been found dead at 27 in circumstances that investigators “need to shed light on”.

Credits: Golders

Yosef Bingan N’Debi died during the night of last Thursday to Friday at his home in Perigueux, the capital of south-western France’s Dordogne department.

He was found in the bathroom by his half-brother, who has not been named, at his flat where the two were spending the evening. He reportedly left the room for a while and when he did not return, his half-brother found him unresponsive in the bathroom.

He raised the alarm but firefighters could do nothing to save him. An investigation into the circumstances of the 115-kilogramme (253-lb) champion’s death has been launched. The autopsy is set to take place today (Monday 3rd January).

Credits: Golders

The young man was in the local papers back in 2018 when he heroically defeated with his bare hands an armed knifeman who was reportedly attacking four people. According to local media, he jumped on the attacker without hesitating.

He was reportedly Champion of France, 2nd Division, in 2017, in Judo. Before becoming a judoka, he was reportedly a champion wrestler, earning a bronze medal at the French Senior Championships in the under-125 kilogrammes category. He switched to judo a few years ago and obtained his black belt quickly.

As late as last week, he had won the Dordogne regional Championship (all categories).

Born in Cameroon, he had lived in Perigueux since the age of 5. He was the father of a 5-year-old daughter. He had obtained his black belt on Saturday 25th January and was set to head to Belgium to take part in a competition.

Credits: Golders

The French Judo Federation (‘Federation Francaise de Judo’) defines the second division as follows: “The French 2nd Division individual championship and the decentralised qualification tests constitute the high-level selection process.

“It allows the titles of champion of France to be awarded to competitors outside the French team. It determines the classification of the 33rd to the 64th fighter by weight category at the national level.”

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