Mr Ilgar Rahimov, president of International Blind Sports Association, has been in office for a little less than a year. He arrived in Tbilisi to embrace the last qualifying event for Para judo ahead of Paris 2024 where he spoke about the remaining few months and the next four years.

“Every day we are getting closer and closer to the Paralympic Games in Paris. The IBSA Judo Committee, led by Mr Tardos Janos, carried out an excellent cycle after the Tokyo Games, all the way to this competition. We are also very thankful for the support from the IJF.

Following Tokyo, we had significant changes with the classification, we have new classes and new rules. I am happy that we have been able to stand up to these tremendous changes and deliver. It is a big achievement for us to have increased the number of J1 athletes and for them to have their own division."

From Paris to Los Angeles the road seems long but the work must begin now. “Paris will be over before we know it and the weight categories will be changed again. We will first do a test event to assess these new weight categories. Four years always goes very fast so we will begin with the testing right after Paris. We will also add a junior world championships to our next cycle while continuing the development of VI judo in Africa. We will have the IBSA World Games in 2027 too so there is a lot of work to do.

For the next cycle we also seek to improve the eye classification standards.  We have very professional classifiers but it is a subjective classification and there can be some mistakes. We are having discussions with the IPC and at the end of this month I will be travelling to Bonn to meet with the IPC to deliberate. Lastly, after the Paris Games we will have a new memorandum of understanding between the IJF and IBSA as we seek to progress with the development of Para judo world-wide.

Considering all the work that has been done, I am confident that the Paris Paralympics will be at an excellent standard for judo. I am sure that our judoka will show everything they are capable of. See you in Paris, dear friends.”

The judo event at the Paris 2024 Paralympics Games will take place at the Champ-de-Mars Arena from 5th to 7th September. While the direct qualification period is going to be over in less than 24 hours, there are bipartite positions to be allocated too. By end of July, the final Paris 2024 Para judo list will be available.

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