The Dominican Judo Federation recently recognised the amazing work of Julio Clemente Santana, a judo ninth dan who has been dedicating his life to the development of judo in Pan-America, especially in the area of refereeing.

The President of the Dominican Judo Federation, Gilberto Garcia, declared, "Today we recognise the work that this great human being has done for judo for decades, not only in Puerto Rico but in Pan-American and the world. We feel very grateful to have him active in judo and we always cherish his passion for the sport.”

It must be said that Julio Clemente is a monument in judo in the region and beyond. As an athlete he participated in competition from the national to the international level, including the World Championships Lausanne 1973, which was the 8th edition of the event.

Then Julio Clemente became an international referee. In 1979 he began, during the Pan-American Games in San Juan Puerto, before being involved in further refereeing matters for more than 50 years. He was on the tatami at three Olympic Games and 23 world championships; this is without counting more than 90 official Pan-American international tournaments.

From being a referee assistant of the Pan-American Judo Union (UPJ), in which he led seminars, workshops and referee exams throughout the continent, he became Refereeing Director of the Pan-American Judo Confederation (CPJ) from 2008 to 2012, as well as a member of the IJF Refereeing Commission.

Judo continues to develop through the decades because of the commitment and dedication of people like Julio Clemente, travelling and promoting the sport tirelessly. Thank you Mr Clemente and congratulations!

See also