Former world champion Luciano Corrêa and Beijing 2008 Olympic bronze medallist Ketleyn Quadros, who both hail from Brasilia, were joined by 100 judoka from local clubs and social projects as well as CBJ President Silvio Acácio Borges, Governor of the Federal District, Ibaneis Rocha; Senator Leila Barros; the Secretary of Sport of the Federal District, Leandro Cruz; the vice president of the Brazilian Olympic Committee, Marco La Porta; IJF Competition Manager Lisa Allan and IJF Events Producer Claudiu Chimoiu; federal and district congressmen, as well as several members of the Ministry of Citizenship.
The glistening new medals were unveiled along with the newly-appointed mascot Guará-Wolf who received 52.99% of the votes on the CJB website ahead of Ocelot (28.30%) and Blue Macaw (18.71%).
The three-day event in Brasilia, which becomes the second city in the Americas to host an IJF Grand Slam following Rio de Janeiro (2009 – 2012), currently has 414 judoka inscribed from 64 countries and has captured the imagination of the Brazilian public.
“The Brasilia Grand Slam is the first major event of our sport here in Brazil post-Rio 2016 Rio Olympic Games and puts Brazil back on the IJF World Judo Tour, giving our athletes the chance to add important points in the Tokyo 2020 qualifying race”, said CBJ President Silvio Acácio Borges.
“In addition, it is very important for us to hold this great event in the year that marks the 50th anniversary of the foundation of CBJ so well represented here today by this entire community of judogi,” he commented.
“We are taking Brasilia to the world through sports. How many thousands of jobs are we generating in such an initiative? How many people will work at the event? How many millions of dollars will the city raise with hotels, tourism, restaurants? I can not imagine that people do not see this as an investment in which everyone can participate and reap the rewards,” said Governor Ibaneis.
“This Grand Slam will be very important for all athletes, especially those in the Olympic process. Undoubtedly, they will be important points, a very strong competition, one of the strongest in the world. And it is an honour to have this event here at our house, especially in Brasilia where I have a great affection, where I started to take my first steps”, said Quadros.
“It is a historic and exciting day for all of us, people form Brasília, which is a granary of great judokas. Sport can transform the lives of all these children who will be watching and may become increasingly motivated. So congratulations to all of you, governor, secretary of Brasilia, the Brazilian Judo Confederation, with this agreement and this partnership, which will be a great event that will leverage the high income side and, especially, the social inclusion tool, which is the sport”, said Luciano, who runs a social project in Belo Horizonte, the Arrasta Institute, with free judo classes for children and teenagers.
Tickets are free for spectators to attend the showpiece event at the Centro Internacional de Convenções do Brasil (CICB) and bumper crowd is expected for Brazil’s first IJF event since 2013.
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