Michael Tamura has been on the frontline for a few weeks now. IJF Sport Director for the Tbilisi Grand Slam a week ago and now for Antalya, he supervises the competitions to make sure that everything goes smoothly and it does. He is also the president of Judo Canada, a federation that has been on the forefront of international judo for a some time with top level athletes in several categories. He comments on what has been an exciting year so far.
Michael Tamura

"We can feel that among all nations there is a sense of urgency. With the last two events, in Tbilisi and now in Antalya, with the next two in Tajikistan and Kazakhstan and last but not least with the Abu Dhabi World Championships, we can see that everyone is very focused on one goal, to perform this summer in Paris.

You have those who still try to qualify and the others who try to get a better ranking, this is just incredible. You can feel the pressure and ultimately that is what we like.

The judo is more and more explosive. What the Abe siblings demonstrated yesterday was just incredible. They are so dominant and they are clearly on the path to Paris 2024. Overall the technical level is rising which is so good to be a witness of.

Christa Deguchi and Antoine Valois-Fortier after her grand slam gold medal in Antalya

From an organisational point of view, both Georgia and Türkiye have been phenomenal. They are such good organisers. The level of the IJF team is also very high. Everything is top notch. Under the leadership of Claudiu Chimoiu, the Events Director, Vladimir Barta, Head Sport Director, as well as all the other heads of department, the IJF is delivering fantastic events on a regular basis. Not a lot of organisations would be able to do the same.

I truly believe that for Paris everything which falls under the IJF’s responsibility will be of the highest standard."

Of course it is not possible to talk with Michael Tamura without mentioning team Canada, "What can I say, the past months have been so exciting for all of us. Having the number 1 and 2 in the world at -57 kg is unbelievable. It's not easy because we have to make a choice but who can complain about having the best of the best in the world under the same flag. We know that both Jessica and Christa can deliver in Paris. We are getting closer to the final decision and we want to make the right choice. I believe that everything will be crystal clear after the world championships.

Jessica Klimkait

We also have really good chances in -63kg, -81kg and -100kg, to name a few. The Paris Games should be the best ever for Canada, that's our goal. We never ever had such a strong team. We have never been in such a position. I really believe that this is the result of Nicolas Gill's work as well as all the energy I put it in. We took the right steps and now we need to collect the fruit this summer. Paris should be our showcase."

That is all we can wish for Michael Tamura and his team. In the meantime he keeps investing a lot of effort to guarantee that everyone has their chances now and in the future.

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