It is always an intriguing to have in depth conversations with those real lifers of judo, those who understand every nuance of the rules and have played their part in each sector of the judo community, at one time or another.

Tonino Chyurlia is the IJF Referee Commission Secretary and wears a 7th dan around his waste, courtesy of a career that includes refereeing at the Olympic Games and world championships.

“Yesterday I was surprised by the quality of the judo but today it has been an even higher level and I was surprised again. Actually I thank the coaches. Without them we can’t have this nice judo and the beautiful attitude we see, now from the vast majority. In the past we have seen athletes waiting for the opposition to get shido but this generation now have a positive attitude, looking for good kumi-kata and nage-waza. I see a number of players now continuing to attack even if leading the fight by waza-ari, really hunting the ippon.

For the referees, I see that they are more attentive. They have no choice, because of the level of activity. There have not been many golden score contests but those who were there deserved the extra time. Really close contests are offering scores or even shido but still continue at a pace, delivering high quality judo. Most of the golden score periods are ending with a positive score from active players."

The first two days have brought obligatory focus for all referees.

"To reflect the good work of the coaches and athletes we are seeing very very few penalties for false attack. With everyone working together to uphold the rules we have everyone on the right way to the highest quality of judo, presenting our sport very well.

Together we are a family, not separate parts such as officials, referees and athletes. We are all judoka and we must be proud of our product. I have seen o-uchi -gari many times today but applied in four or five different ways, showing that there is a genuine study of judo across the world and this is a product worth marketing.

We have seen more than just Japanese judoka using ne-waza and other countries are beating the Japanese now on the ground and this means the attitude is very positive around training in ne-waza and it makes our judo more complete."

Haydarov wins bronze in ne-waza for the host nation

"I have seen the sode-tsuri-komi-goshi, from Tomokiyo (JPN) against Zaborosciuc (MDA) at -81kg and he stayed standing throughout. It was so perfect, like kata and to have this level of technique being applied on the World Judo Tour is incredible."

Tomokiyo (JPN) delivering controlled, textbook judo.

"Today, in general, is more explosive than yesterday and they have been really ready to fight. I think everyone had warmed up to the event.

The collaboration between coaches and the Referee Commission is much better now than it has ever been. We are having very few or even no requests from coaches to review fights after the they are finished. This is another sign that we are moving in the right direction.”

Tonino Chyurlia is satisfied with this day of judo, with the technique being displayed on the mat, with the development happening among coaches and referees and above all with the attitude from all to arrive ready to hunt for ippon. This is the focus from everyone and it really shows.

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