During the opening ceremony that celebrated the flags of all delegations taking part in the first ever Dushanbe Grand Prix, the Chairman of the National Assembly of the Supreme Assembly of the Republic of Tajikistan, the Chairman of Dushanbe city, Mr Rustami Emomali, the President of the International Judo Federation, Mr Marius Vizer and the President of the Judo Federation of Tajikistan, Mr Ismoil Mahmadzoir came together to wish the best of luck to all participants.
From left to right: Mr Marius Vizer, IJF President, Mr Rustami Emomali, the Chairman of the National Assembly of the Supreme Assembly of the Republic of Tajikistan, the Chairman of Dushanbe city and Mr Ismoil Mahmadzoir, the President of the Judo Federation of Tajikistan

Mr Rustami Emomali declared, "Dear President of the International Judo Federation, Mr Marius Vizer, dear presidents of the national judo federations, dear guests and attendees, I am very pleased to welcome all of you to today's event. It is true that sport is a means of connecting different peoples and nations in human life. In our country special attention is paid to the issue of sports development as an effective and important way to promote a healthy lifestyle, improving the health of the population, also aimed at the creative activity of people, including teenagers and the youth. As you know, Tajikistan is a country of young people, the average age of its population is 24 years old. Taking this into account, the development of physical education and the popularisation of sport is considered as one of the most significant parts of promoting the state policy of youth.

To confirm these statements, it is enough to note that the country hosted over 15 thousand different events and competitions involving more than 4 million young people just in the last six years. I think that this is not a small number for a country with a population of 10 million.

Mr Rustami Emomali

During this period, in order to provide better conditions for training and the promotion of sport, the construction of children's playgrounds has expanded and the number increased from 50 to 300. In this regard, it is worth noting that the founder of Peace and National Unity, leader of the nation, President of Tajikistan HE. Mr Emomali Rahmon, from the first years of his activity until today, provides all the necessary conditions for the development of Tajik sports and its introduction to the international arena. As a result of such efforts, many types of sports in Tajikistan, including judo, are on the way of stable development and today our athletes have gained a recognised status and a special position in the international arena.

The participation of Tajik athletes in the Tokyo Grand Slam, as well as in the 2022 World Judo Masters in Jerusalem and the silver medal winner of this competition, Temur Rakhimov, is evidence of the above. It should be noted that this is the first Masters medal in the history of our country. Since the start 2023 until today, 4 domestic competitions and 8 training and educational meetings were held in the country and abroad by the Tajikistan Judo Federation. On February 11th and 12th 2023, the first National Judo Championship for seniors was held in Dushanbe in accordance with international requirements. During this process, in order to develop youth sports, in March 2023 the championship of Tajikistan has been held in the city of Khujand with the participation of young athletes. Also it is a matter of pride that this year the Tajik judo team have participated in 10 international competitions and our judoka have won several medals.

I can be sure that today's competition will be held at a high level of organisation and will contribute to the further promotion of a healthy lifestyle, the development of sports in the country, including judo, the discovery of young and promising athletes, and will also further raise the honour of sport in Tajikistan.

I believe through sport and competition you will send a strong message of peace, harmony and friendship to the world. In conclusion, I would once again like to welcome distinguished delegations to Dushanbe and wish all athletes the best of luck and success. I wish all of you, dear guests, a pleasant stay and good luck to the participants of the competition."

Mr Marius Vizer

Mr Marius Vizer declared, "Distinguished Mr Mayor of Dushanbe, distinguished president of the federation, dear guests, spectators, media representatives and partners, dear judoka, welcome to Dushanbe for the Dushanbe Judo Grand Prix 2023.

We are thankful to the government of Tajikistan, the city of Dushanbe and the Tajikistan Judo Federation for supporting and organising the first ever grand prix in Dushanbe.

Just before the start of the final block, Mr Marius Vizer presented Mr Rustami Emomali with the IJF Jigoro Kano statue

We are here to promote peace, unity and solidarity throughout the world. In a country of reform, youth, development and inspiration for the world, we are here to promote sport, fairness and culture as well as the history of your country, a country of innovation, reform and development, a country for investment.

I wish all of you a great judo event in Dushanbe. Thank you!"

The opening speeches were followed by the national anthem of Tajikistan, the official anthem of the International Judo Federation and an outstanding cultural show that the full stadium enjoyed before focusing on the final block of the day.

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