The Antalya Grand Slam is one not to miss, with a host of judo stars present from all around the world, including Casse, Klimkait, Fonseca and many more. They come for the medals, the points and the contests but it is a journey cushioned by the surroundings because Antalya is a world renowned resort city with a yacht-filled traditional harbour and beaches flanked by large hotels. It’s the gateway to Turkey's southern Mediterranean region, famous for its blue waters that gave the name to the Turquoise Coast and it has also been, for many years, the judo capital of the World Judo Tour. April is the month of the Antalya Grand Slam!

The event is already the fourth competition of the year on the IJF calendar and brings together 525 competitors from 63 nations, the biggest entry of the season so far. As the opening of the Olympic qualification is fast approaching, we can feel that the jostling for position is stepping up a notch. Every point is important to get a better position in the World Ranking List, in order to have a better draw when the Paris 2024 race begins.

The draw is now entrenched as an online occasion this formality ran smoothly, beginning with a welcome from the IJF General Treasurer, Naser Al-Tamimi, “Dear Turkish Federation board members, IJF board members and all the judo family, thanks to the Turkish Judo Federation for all they offer to judo, even in this hard situation. Organising training and competitions is a big job. Thanks to the Turkish government, the media and sponsors for supporting our grand slam. Finally I wish all athletes and participating countries a good competition and a lovely stay in Antalya.”

IJF Officials

President of the Turkish Judo Federation, Mr Sezer Huysuz continued, “Welcome to Mr Lascau, Mr Barta and Mr Al Tamimi. I’m very happy to host again the Antalya Grand Slam, after the Olympic Games. I wish that all the athletes, referees, staff and everyone enjoys the competition and that it will be, for all, the starting step towards the Paris Olympic Games. On behalf of my country and my judo family I wish you all good luck. Thank you for coming to Antalya; we hope you will go back home with good memories.”

Dr Lisa Allan, IJF Events Director, replied and also offered the tournament reminders, “Thanks to your team for all their hard work. Thanks to all participants for their respect of the Covid protocols. Safety is our top priority. Let’s keep working together to keep our judo community safe and well. Please take note of the new judogi control rules which will be in place from the Ulaanbaatar Grand Slam in June 2022.” Dr Allan also noted the timing of the 3 days of judo, as follows:

Starting times: Day 1: 9am Day2: 9am Day 3: 9:30am The final block is at 5pm local time, each day.

TJF Officials

Mr Florin Daniel Lascau, Head Referee Director moved the proceedings along, “For Antalya the IJF refereeing commission selected some of the best IJF referees from around the world.” The theme of maintaining and raising standards of refereeing continues with Mr Lascau as one of the Head Referee Directors leading a tatami-based briefing prior to the beginning of the competition. This is now part of the routine on the World Judo Tour and is part of a programme that will undoubtedly lead to an exemplary team of referees being present at the Paris Olympic Games in 2024.

© Demir S. Durak

Mr Lascau said, about the referee briefing, "This has become a habit for us, to meet and exchange openly about the refereeing rules, seeing the practical side of those rules. Not only the IJF referees are present, but also Refereeing Directors from neighbouring countries. It is important to harmonise our work, so that everyone is on the same wavelength. We have multiplied the refereeing seminars and we will continue to do so in the months to come. We are very happy with the outcomes so far. Everything is clearer and it makes the rules easier to explain and apply."

The refereeing team

The draw itself was completed, under the direction of Mr Vladimir Barta, IJF Head Sport Director and with the referee briefing also complete and the judoka finalising their judogi checks and weigh-in, all that remains is to get a good night’s sleep and be ready for a great weekend of judo. Antalya is ready!


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