The lights have gone out on the Baku Grand Slam 2024. They will soon come on at the Tashkent Grand Slam 2024, taking place from 1st to 3rd March in the Uzbek capital. For now, what are the lessons from this last event which kept us enthralled for three days?
Hidayat Heydarov (AZE) in action, won of the three gold medals of Azerbaijan

In the final ranking, it was the host country which, in a very tough context, took first place with three gold medals, two silver medals and three bronze medals; a very good performance, especially when we look at the countries that follow. France first of all, building on its exceptional results during the Paris Grand Slam in early February, took second place in the ranking. This position remained uncertain for a long time, the French team having won three silver medals before the third day of competition. It was the victory of the phenomenon Romane Dicko that changed the situation, propelling France almost to the top, but Azerbaijan had become unreachable.

World number one, Christa Deguchi (CAN) after her victory

Canada then put in a great overall performance, with three medals, one of each colour. The result of the Netherlands is also significant, since 7 medals, one gold and six bronze, flew to Holland. 23 countries won medals, while 32 reached the final block, more than half of the countries entered!

We will remember from this grand slam the advent of a fearless young athlete, Tara Babulfath (SWE), a first year junior and already a winner of a major World Judo Tour event. This young judoka will be one to watch closely in the months and years to come. Several judoka have also won their first grand slam title or have made their first appearance in a final block. This bodes well for the future. Paris is looming on the horizon but Los Angeles is already on everyone's mind.

Tara Babulfath (SWE) was one the revelations of the Baku Grand Slam 2024

When we look at the results closely, we see that some names are well known, such as Diyora Keldiyorova (UZB), Hidayat Heydarov (AZE), Christa Deguchi (CAN) or Barbara Matic (CRO), to name just a few. We also see that some names do not appear in the list of medallists, such as Saeid Mollaei (AZE), Sarah Léonie Cysique (FRA) or Peter Paltchik (ISR). One event does not determine the entire season and the months that separate us from the World Championships and the Olympic Games can change a lot of things. Athletes will have to be ready on D-day and H-hour. Baku, like Paris and Portugal earlier in the season, as well as all upcoming competitions, had only one goal, to optimise preparation while ensuring Olympic qualification.

As for the organisation of the Baku Grand Slam, there is not much to say about it, since everything was perfectly oiled and the tournament took place in the best possible conditions thanks to the flawless involvement of the national federation and the IJF teams. Congratulations to everyone.

The 'I Promise' Campaign

Last but not least, the event saw the launch of the new campaign of the Azerbaijan Judo Federation aimed at fighting against bullying and abuse. This was the perfect scene to promote education and the gentle way that is called JUDO!

Now it's already time to think about the next stage. In ten days, Tashkent will host a new World Judo Tour event; more excitement, more results, more stories to come. Stay tuned and follow all the action at

See also