Awarding of World Championships and new IJF member

Rio de Janeiro, Aug 5, 2016: Awarding of World Championships and new IJF member, While excitement is growing among thousands of athletes and officials, the Executive Committee of the International Judo Federation met this morning, only a few hours before the opening ceremony of the 31st Summer Olympics, Rio 2016, to make important decisions for the future of World Judo. During a meeting of nearly two hours, led by Marius Vizer, President of the IJF, all the sectors of the federation were discussed (Awarding new IJF member).

To open the meeting, a film presentation on the rules of judo, explained in a simple and clear way by world champion and Olympic silver medalist, Neil Adams of Great Britain, and produced by the IJF, was presented. Within a few days of it’s release the film became a popular phenomenon on the internet. The 5 minute film explains judo to novices in the art of the gentle way, as well as to the most experienced judoka, the art of throwing one’s opponent to win within the respect of an ethic and moral code. “This film was especially produced for those who do not know our sport, and for the worldwide media who have to comment on our sport”, explained the President Vizer. (Https://

Marius Vizer took the floor for his introduction speech: “I would like to thank all the members of the board, all players in the world as well as the staff of our federation, for all the work undertaken in recent years. We are on the eve of the start of the Olympic Games that we want to be a great success for judo. The ongoing collaboration between all of us, everyone’s work and behavior has contributed to the fact that we have yet again set a record of participation during these Olympics. We can be proud of the work done. While all our champions are about to tread the tatami tomorrow, our main goal is to produce a successful event to demonstrate the full capacity of our sport to grow and be an example to all.”

After the vote on the minutes of the last meeting, led by Jean-Luc Rougé, General Secretary of the IJF, an important chapter of the meeting was devoted to the awarding of the upcoming Senior and Junior World Championships. The location for the Senior World Championships in 2017 has already been known for a long time and will be held in Budapest next year, but those of 2018 and 2019 were still to be determined. They have now been finalized.

Thus in 2018, the world judo family will travel to Baku, capital of Azerbaijan, on the shores of the Caspian Sea: “Baku has an excellent tradition of organization of international events,” explained Vizer , adding, “the first Europeans Olympic Games last year were a success and the IJF is organizing for several years with great success the Grand Slam of Baku. We can be confident about the ability of Azerbaijan to organize a great world championship in 2018. “

In 2019, it is in Japan that judo will return again in what will resemble a full rehearsal for the Olympic Games in 2020. Yasuhiro Yamashita, who presented the project at the meeting thus recalled: “For these Individual and teams World Championships in 2019, we will return to the historic venue of the Nippon Budokan which held the 1964 Olympic tournament when judo made its first appearance at the Games. Beyond the symbol it represents, we will have the opportunity to test life-size all the infrastructure of the Games to be held the following year in the Japanese capital. Japan has a great and long experience in the field of major event organization in judo. We will put all our experience at the IJF’s Service.”

Another highly anticipated decision this morning was the awarding of the Junior World Championships 2017. The Judo Federation of North Korea presented it’s application, which was approved by the Executive Committee.

The delegation led by the representatives of the Federation, the National Olympic Committee and Son, Vice Minister of Sports, detailed all of the finer details of the organization of an event that should bring together the next generation of champions: “We intend to organize the championship in the best possible conditions for all countries worldwide in Pyongyang in 2017. We have all the experience it takes, the skills and structures for this. We want to work as closely as possible with the international federation.

We guarantee that all participants, including the athletes themselves, their coaches, officials and sports journalists and cameramen will obtain their accreditation.“

President Marius Vizer also explained: “One of the goals of sport and particularly judo is to build bridges between nations and cultures. We have the ability to bring peace and friendship. We can help to grow the hopes of younger generations. Through this historic event, we can further strengthen judo in North Korea, even though it is already a highly respected sport.

With this junior championship, we can open a new era for developing relations at all levels. The technical conditions to organize the event on site are good. However a number of issues remain to be resolved.”

The candidacy of North Korea has been accepted and validated by the IJF Committee with two observations: 1 – If the global world situation does not allow the organization of the championship, other solutions will be offered. 2 – All the technical aspects relating to the organisation of competition in 2017, will be tested by December 2016 in order to finalize the procedure.

The organization of the Junior World Championship in North Korea is a true historical event in many respects. The championship is already placed under the banner of ‘peace and understanding between nations.‘

From today onwards the International Judo Federation also counts a new member in it’s ranks, as the Judo Federation of Bhutan officially entered in the family of World Judo. Member of the Asian Judo Union and having met all the conditions for integrating the international federation, Bhutan became the 196th member federation of the IJF.

President of the African Judo Union since 1990, General Lassana Palenfo (Ivory Coast) today said goodbye to his colleagues of the IJF Executive Committee. As, after the Rio Olympics, it is Mr. Habib Sissoko, elected at the last congress of the AJU, who will take the reins of the organization and will sit in that capacity as IJF Vice-President for Africa:

“It is with deep regret and and great emotion that I am taking the floor today. The time has come for me to leave the organisation. It is a quite difficult time for me to say good bye. To make farewells to one’s colleagues with whom you have shared great times is a difficult emotional exercise, that fills my heart with sincere feelings. It’s true that I am leaving the judo family, but I want to assure you that my heart will keep beating very hard for this sport that I have particularly cherished as a player, as a coach and a leader.” said Palenfo.

Very moved, Vizer said: “We will celebrate your judo career in the best way possible as soon as possible. Thank you for everything you did for judo in the world and for African judo in particular. It is difficult to express what I feel today and you will stay in our hearts both physically and spiritually.”

At the end of the meeting President Vizer wished all a great Olympic Games for judo: “Tomorrow we will all find ourselves around and on the tatami of the Carioca Arena 2. We will experience great moments for judo and for athletes worldwide. I wish you all good luck.“
Saturday – 6 August
10:00 – 13:00 Preliminaries
15:30 – 18:10 Final block

Women: -48kg
Men: -60kg

Sunday – 7 August
10:00 – 13:00 Preliminaries
15:30 – 18:10 Final block

Women: -52kg
Men: -66kg

Monday – 8 August
10:00 – 13:00 Preliminaries
15:30 – 18:10 Final block

Women: -57kg
Men: -73kg

Tuesday – 9 August
10:00 – 13:00 Preliminaries
15:30 – 18:10 Final block

Women: -63kg
Men: -81kg

Wednesday – 10 August
10:00 – 13:00 Preliminaries
15:30 – 18:10 Final block

Women: -70kg
Men: -90kg

Thursday – 11 August
10:00 – 13:00 Preliminaries
15:30 – 18:10 Final block

Women: -78kg
Men: -100kg

Friday – 12 August
10:00 – 13:00 Preliminaries
15:30 – 18:10 Final block

Women: +78kg
Men: +100kg

Location: Carioca Arena 2. —- IJF

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