The end of the individual competition of the Guayaquil Junior World Championships marks the moment to take a technical and tactical review of a competition which has awarded 14 new world titles. Between the surprises and the confirmations Florin Daniel Lascau, Head Referering Director, makes an inventory of what he saw.

"Overall, we saw a tournament that was a lot of fun to watch. We saw a lot of great throws and a high technical level. I'm very happy because it means that the competitors were looking for the classic Kodokan movements. This is a direction in which we are working a lot and therefore it is a very positive point.

In ne-waza, we saw a lot of immobilisations (osaekomi-waza) and a fewer armlocks and strangles. In the category of armlocks (kansetsu-waza) there were not that many classic techniques, but some very beautiful forms of ude-garami, te-gatame and waki-gatame, which is evidence of great diversity. I haven't seen many okuri-eri-jime though.

Regarding tachi-waza to ne-waza transitions, I find it interesting to see a good number of transitions from o-uchi-gari or ko-uchi-gari, proving that juniors are able to keep their grip and continue on the ground. We must not forget the transition from the classic tai-otoshi or uchi-mata, but we are already used to seeing this.

On the tactical side, it is not surprising to see that this dimension is often absent from junior judo. They seek to score and sometimes forget to manage the rest of the contest. We can't blame them. This also makes their judo spectacular. We often saw, during these four days, athletes leading by waza-ari and then losing, because they did not manage their lead.

I was able to see that we still have some explaining work to do. A certain number of judoka and their coaches have not yet fully integrated certain rules which have been in force for a few months. The question of using the head during a throwing technique or breaking the grip will have to be explained again. For example, it is not allowed, for obvious safety reasons, to lean on the head when throwing with uchi-mata, harai-goshi, seoi-nage or tai-otoshi.

A few months ago I was explaining this twelvth rule of the new update of the refereeing rules, 'Techniques using head diving are dangerous and will be penalised with hansoku-make. Following the safety frame of judo, performing judo throws should be done without the head going directly to the tatami. The neck is not a very strong part of the body. Landing first on the head with the opponent behind puts athletes at risk and in a very dangerous situation. As was mentioned before, we have judoka as young as 15 years old eligible to participate in WJT events and we have millions of children who are doing judo and following their heroes. In the demonstration of judo techniques performed on video by the IJF Academy and the Kodokan, there are no techniques landing on the head.' This has not changed and we will continue to be very strict. We have already conducted many refereeing seminars and we are not going to stop there.

I especially want to say in conclusion, that I saw excellent judo throughout the week and I would like sincerely to see our juniors who lead by waza-ari, learn to continue to seek the second score. That's literally the spirit of our sport."

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