IJF Education and Coaching Director, Mohamed Meridja followed the IBSA Judo Grand Prix Antalya 2024 with great interest. After three days of the grand slam, these two days of qualifying competition for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games interested him greatly.

"I feel great motivation from all the participants. Everyone is trying to do everything to succeed and to qualify for the big Paralympic event. This constant commitment warms the heart. The organisation is very good. The benefit of having a grand slam just before is felt strongly.

Sincerely, all para-judo athletes are examples for everyone. Whether they lose or win, there is enormous respect. We are watching for who gives the biggest hug at the end of each contest. There is also enormous respect for the referees who are more partners in the final result than judges.

All judoka emanate a great inner strength where friendship plays a preponderant role. They are an example to follow.

As an African sport leader, I am also very interested in what I saw. In Tokyo, three years ago, there was only one African country represented. In Paris, we will be close to 10. This is great development and above all a necessary development.

Under the leadership of the president of the African Judo Union, Siteny Randrianasolo-Niaiko, we have a vision for the future and this vision includes the development of the practice of para-judo. We therefore plan to organise competitions on African soil, at least two or three per year. We have several countries that will be good organisers.

We have a significant population of visually impaired people in Africa and we must find ways to support them. For this we will work hand in hand with the IBSA and the judo commission in particular. It’s important that we can provide support.”

Para-judo is in full swing and developing rapidly, showing how to apply respect concretely. In this area of development Africa will play an important role and that was underlined once again during these last two days.

See also