Maria Pekli

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Maria Pekli
Personal information
Born12 June 1972 (1972-06-12) (age 47)
Baja, Hungary

Maria Pekli (born 12 June 1972 in Baja, Hungary) is an Australian judoka of Hungarian descent. She was Australian Champion in the u/57 kg division for seven consecutive years, between 1997–2003.

She won a bronze medal in the lightweight (57 kg) division at the 2000 Summer Olympics, the first Australian woman to win an official Olympic Judo medal (although Sue Williams won a medal at the 1988 Summer Olympics when Women's Judo was a demonstration sport).

Along with Cuba's Driulys González and Japan's Ryoko Tamura-Tani, Pekli became in 2008 the first female judoka to compete at five Olympics. The only other judokas to compete at five Olympics are Belgian Robert Van de Walle and Puerto Rican judoka-bobsledder Jorge Bonnet.

In 2011, Pekli was awarded Life Membership of Judo Australia for her contribution to the sport at the Australian National Judo Championships.


Year Competition Venue Position Notes
2008 Olympic Games Beijing, China 5th Lightweight (57 kg)
2003 World Judo Championships Osaka, Japan 5th Lightweight (57 kg)
2002 Commonwealth Games Manchester, England 1st Lightweight (57 kg)
2000 Olympic Games Sydney 3rd Lightweight (57 kg)
1996 European Judo Championships The Hague, Netherlands 2nd Lightweight (56 kg)
1995 European Judo Championships Birmingham, England 7th Lightweight (56 kg)
1993 World Judo Championships Hamilton, Ontario, Canada 5th Lightweight (56 kg)


  • Maria Pekli at
  • Maria Pekli at at the Wayback Machine (archived 2007-09-30)
  • Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill. "Maria Pekli". Olympics at Sports Reference LLC.
  • "Maria Pekli: Aiming high". ABC. 28 July 2004. Retrieved 11 July 2007.

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