MARTIAL ARTS - Judo23 Jun 2022
Pedro Lasuen Tokyo is over! Stop staring at the photo album and the recorded images. Today we take a new path, an extraordinary adventure, the preamble to something great. Today, Olympic Day, judo opens qualifying for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games. Welcome to Mongolia. As things are, with half the world travelling, airports overwhelmed and airlines in full overbooking mode, it takes courage to get on a plane, just as it takes courage to organise a grand slam, with all the guarantees and a deluxe line-up. It was the bet of the Mongolian Judo Association in its return to the World Judo Tour, as the organiser after six years of absence. Speaking of value, one of the values of judo, incidentally, it should be noted in the first place, is the presence of the Russian team in the Ulaanbaatar Grand Slam, under the banner of the International Judo Federation (IJF). As it is probable that many do not understand it, we asked the IJF General Director, Vlad Marinescu, to clear the doubts. “The International Judo Federation is against war, against any kind of violence, as well as hate and discrimination. Sport is not politics, sport is a bridge between different cultures. Our values are the values of sport, where there is no room for politics.” It is not a bet, as some may have thought, but normal. Russian athletes will defend the colours of the IJF and must respect, like all other judoka, the current rules of judo. Any type of political vindication or unsportsmanlike attitude, such as the refusal to salute before and after each fight, will be sanctioned as stipulated in the regulations because in judo there are no distinctions. That said, let's talk about sport, which is our thing. The President of the Mongolian Judo Association, H.E. Khaltmaa Battulga, welcomed the 155 athletes from thirty countries, who have travelled to Mongolia. Battulga was especially grateful to the IJF for "allowing my country to host such an important tournament after six years." 155 men and 100 women will fight for medals and the first Olympic points. The number is lower than similar events, but if we take a look at the draw, we can see that there are people of high quality, which makes this Grand Slam a replica of the Masters. Apart from some notable absences, some at the last minute, such as the Japanese Ono Shohei, or the German Anna-Maria Wagner, the level is exquisite, starting with the Japanese team, with its host of Olympic and world champions. They have not come to visit the huge statue of Genghis Khan and go for a pony ride. They are here to win. The Netherlands and Israel have brought the cream of their men's and women's teams, while Korea and Uzbekistan have also opted for Mongolia as the first springboard, and we cannot forget, because it would be a huge mistake, the local team, in full reconfiguration, with the young but already consecrated and others about to flourish. The competition begins on Friday and ends on Sunday. The preliminary phases will debut at 12:30 p.m.and the final block will start at 5:00 p.m., Mongolian time. From now on, the jokes and experiments are over. The serious thing begins and it begins well, with top-level judoka. We are convinced that some Olympic champions will come out of the Ulaanbaatar Grand Slam, in Paris 2024, and just for that, the mission has already been accomplished.
MARTIAL ARTS - Judo02 Jun 2022
Sports Bulletin Report Tbilisi (Georgia):-It's hot in Georgia, and the Tbilisi Grand Slam hasn't even started yet. What has happened, however, is the draw, and the only thing we know is that the temperature will rise even more. Prepare your fans, summer clothes and cold drinks, because judo has arrived in Georgia, and here, you will have to sweat to win. There will be 278 judoka, 173 men and 105 women, from 36 countries. The tournament is the prelude to the starting gun of the Olympic qualification, which will begin three weeks from now in Mongolia. Georgia is an opportunity for the younger generation, as well as for stars who want to take advantage of the absence of others to analyze their form before going on the hunt for the points that lead to Paris. An example of this is the presence of the -78kg German world champion, Anna-Maria Wagner. At -52kg, Reka Pupp, Distria Krasniqi and Astrid Gneto will make for strong competition, as will Eteri Liparteliani, Rafaela Silva and Priscilla Gneto at -57kg. A massive public presence is expected, as the tournament always brings record attendance. Crowds will especially flock on Saturday as Lasha Shavdatuashvili, national hero, best judoka of all time in Georgia, current world champion and vice-Olympic champion will compete in -73kg. Japan has left the women's team at home, but it has brought a men's team of young hopefuls to Tbilisi, such as Koga Genki and Oyoshi Ken, who will be called to pick up the baton of the current stars in a few years. There is no better place for them to get hands-on experience than Georgia. The competition will begin on Friday at 11am, Saturday at 11:30am and Sunday at 12pm. The final block will take place at 5:00 p.m.