The 2019 Worlds were opened in the presence of President Marius Vizer, AJJF President Yamashita Yashuhiro and Kodokan President Uemura Haruki as well as Her Imperial Highness Princess Tomohito of Mikasa, IJF Ambassador; Daichi Suzuki, Commissioner of the Japan Sports Agency; Koichi Nishikawa, President and Representative Director of PARK24, Mr. John Coates, President of the Australian Olympic Committee and Chair of Tokyo 2020 Coordination Commission and Mr. Furjes Balasz, State Secretary of Hungary and Responsible for Budapest Development.
After playing the Japanese national anthem and the IJF anthem a Guinness Book awarding ceremony took place. The worldwide judo family participated in the ‘Ippon Project’ by contributing their photos. These photos were connected to create the world’s longest poster. There are 2019 judokas displayed on this poster to celebrate this event.
Ms. Ishikawa Kaoru from the Guinness World Records awarded the certificate to IJF President Vizer, AJJF President Yamashita and Kodokan President Uemura.
“In 1955, the first edition of the Guinness Book of Records was published in the UK,” Ms. Ishikawa explained. “In our plus 60 years of history, we have approved thousands of records worldwide. We officially recognize the world’s amazing achievements and our purpose is to inspire all people to discover their true potential. Today we are pleased to announce that the great achievement made by AJJF has been officially approved by Guinness World Records. You are amazing!”
“The Olympic history of judo started right here in this historic Budokan at the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games, 55 years ago,” said AJJF President Yamashita in his welcome speech. “Now we are hosting the World Championship and next year Olympic judo will once again return to this historic hall.” Mr. Yamashita had an important message for all competing athletes. “I look forward that you fully show the result of the many days of your training and hard work but compete fairly and take ippon with pride.”
“I hope that all the athletes taking part in this great competition will practice judo in an honorable manner,” said Kodokan President Uemura in his speech. “Value matters as ippon is taken with waza as well as engage in fair and positive competition with the best in physical and mental abilities.”
“Welcome to the World Championship in Tokyo. I want to show my gratitude to the AJJF and the Kodokan for the organization in partnership with the IJF to host this event,” IJF President Vizer said in his opening speech. Mr. Vizer also thanked the media for their presence, and everybody involved behind the scenes who has worked hard to contribute to a successful championship. “Wishing every participant, a successful event, I declare the World Championship in Tokyo open!”