Sept. 22, 2021 The Division of Human Resources & Equity is now called the Division of People Strategy, Equity & Culture.

A world class judoka athlete: Off the clock with Mohamed Khedr

Mohamed Khedr holding framed display of his World Masters Judo Championship awards

Mohamed Khedr, Network Manager,
Faculty of Medicine’s Discovery Commons

Mohamed has been with the University of Toronto (U of T) since 1996.

What do you do off the clock?

I am a judoka. I practice the Japanese martial art of judo.

How did you first become interested in judo?

I first became interested in judo when I was eight years old after watching Muhammad Ali in a boxing match. He inspired me so much that I decided to join a small club near my home.

One day at the club, I watched a Japanese judo team performing a judo demonstration. I liked it and the sensei (Sensei Yamamoto was my sensei for almost 15 years) so much that I decided to take up judo. When I was 18 years old, I joined the Egyptian national team.

What tournaments have you competed in?

Mohamad Khedr in a judo competitionI am a former Egyptian judo champion and have represented Egypt at the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984. I have also represented Canada at many top-level international judo tournaments since moving here in 1994.

I compete in two weight classes: the open weight and the men’s under 90 kg categories. Last year, I competed at the International Judo Federation’s Grand Masters World Judo Championships in Miami, Florida, where I earned a world record for my career competition results.

In 2009, I took bronze at the championships in Atlanta, Georgia, and in 2007 I received a silver and bronze at the World Masters Judo Championship in São Paulo, Brazil. In 2006, in Tours, France, I came in third place at the eighth World Masters Judo Championship and also received a bronze medal in the men’s under 90 kg category.

Is there a judo master that inspires you?

The Japanese hero Yasuhiro Yamashita, one of the most successful judo competitors of all time, Egyptian champions Helmy Hussein and Muhammad Rashwan, and my father inspire me. When I was eight years old, he told me I could practice judo as long as I maintained a 90 per cent average at school. This motivated me to excel at school as well as in judo.