The feeling in the draw of the IJF World Judo Masters was one of celebration, even before the cameras went live. The judo family has had an extraordinary year and the shared acknowledgement of all the wonderful moments there have been permeates every meeting in Jerusalem.

The draw took place at the Dan-Jerusalem Hotel and the Israel Judo Association was proud to have their CEO Noam Greenberg present, accompanied by Tokyo Olympic Mixed Team bronze medallists Peter Paltchik and Raz Hershko. Representing the IJF were Director General Mr Vlad Marinescu, Vice President and President of the African Judo Union Mr Siteny Randrianasolo-Niaiko and Head Sport Director Mr Vladimir Barta.

Mr Siteny Randrianasolo-Niaiko, Mr Vlad Marinescu and Mr Vladimir Barta

Dr Lisa Allan, IJF Events Director, opened this last draw of a very exciting 2022 season. After delivering the essential logistical and house-keeping information for all delegations, 367 athletes from 58 countries, she invited Mr Marinescu to give his welcome address.

“Dear Secretary General, dear athletes, dear friends. Welcome to the beautiful city of Jerusalem. In the name of our President, Marius Vizer, I want to congratulate all national federations, all of whom made incredible efforts throughout the year, to perform at their best on the World Judo Tour. We are very happy to have twelve out of fourteen world number ones present for this event; to have the crème de la crème, the best of the best to conclude the year on a high note.

Thank you to the Israeli Judo Association for delivering such a strong event; it is the last stage of our world circuit in 2022. Throughout the season we were able to show that judo brings values to society, including respect, friendship and courage. Judo is an exemplary sport and everyone has been working diligently to promote our values.

A special thank you to Peter and Raz who are influencers within our sport, for our values. They deliver important messages to our youth. We need role models like you to help develop the world into a better place to live.”

Peter Paltchik, Noam Greenberg, Raz Hershko with the Israel Judo Association President, Mr Moshe Ponte

Mr Greenberg then added, “Dear Mr Marius Vizer, dear IJF family and all judo family, dear guests, shalom! We welcome you all to the Jerusalem Masters 2022.

We are more than honoured to host the Masters here in Jerusalem. On behalf of the Israeli Judo Association, I want to thank Mr Vizer for his constant support of Israeli judo. Marius, you are an amazing and inspiring person, thank you and thanks to all of the International Judo Federation for the collaboration and help.

I offer special thanks to the Israeli staff for their amazing hard work. I would like to personally thank Mr Moshe Leon, the Mayor of Jerusalem, for his support. Many thanks to the Israeli Sports Minister Hili Truper and his staff, to Zeev Elkin, the Minister of Jerusalem Affairs and to all that helped us along the way. Thanks to our sponsors, Sylvain Adams, the Toto and Jerusalem bank. I’m sure that we will have an amazing event.”

Dr Allan then gave the floor to Mr Barta to conduct the official draw, category by category. As each weight was drawn, the energy rose within the assembled group, with the realisation that every first round contest in every category would bring fireworks.

All bar two categories include the current world number one, the top 8 seeds in each category come from the WRL top 14 and at -81kg all of the top 8 in the world are present to attempt to keep their ranking and make it to the quarter-finals. The host nation will be watching the -57kg category, in particular, with their very own world number one, Timna Nelson Levy, working to retain pole position for the beginning of the new year.

Timna Nelson-Levy in Tashkent, World Championships for Mixed Teams

With such a strong entry, with the guarantee of a stratospheric level, Florin Daniel Lascau took the energy from the draw and led the pre-tournament refereeing seminar in the same vein, “For the last event of the year we are here together with the majority of the best referees in the world.

For the last competition of the year the level is high. We know how many points are on the line and we value this and understand what our job means. How long do we wait to apply penalties? Are the borders between positive and negative judo clear? This will be a tactical event. We see passion and commitment from everyone and that includes our referees, meaning we can guarantee fair play and positivity no matter what is presented to us, always promoting the best of judo at all times.

Referees in Jerusalem

In 2022 over 700 referees and coaches have participated in the IJF refereeing seminars around the world. The skill among referees on all continents is rising and we can feel more and more satisfied that we are making every effort to adjudicate in the right way to ensure the right person leaves the mat as the winner, for every contest on the World Judo Tour.”

Athletes, coaches, referees and organisers are all ready. Jerusalem is poised and almost ready to open the final meet of 2022 and to be honest, we can’t wait! Keep up with all the action via

The venue under construction
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