Today, Friday 10 May at 4 pm, the official opening ceremony of the Baku Grand Slam took place in the Heydar Aliyev Arena, the competition venue of the judo tournament.

After the roll call of the delegations present while simultaneously the nations’ flags appeared on the giant TV screens, the dignitaries present were given the floor to present their welcome speeches.

Minister of Sport Azad Rahimov

The country’s Minister of Sport Azad Rahimov welcomed all delegations wishing all competitors the best of luck opening the tournament.

IJF Head Sport Director Vladimir Barta

IJF Head Sport Director Vladimir Barta congratulated the host nation for another strong organization of this Grand Slam. “We are pleased to see you all here in the 2018 World Championships host city of Baku. I'd like to thank the Azerbaijan Judo Federation for their excellent organization and hospitality of this Grand Slam.”

Rovnag Abdullayev, President of the Azerbaijan Judo Federation

Rovnag Abdullayev, President of the Azerbaijan Judo Federation and IJF Development Manager, also welcomed the athletes and thanked the delegations and the IJF for the trust in the National Judo Federation for hosting this event wishing all competitors a successful tournament.

Then the lights in the arena were dimmed and a compilation video of the best judo action images of last year’s Worlds was shown. The presentation was followed by a cultural program of dances and performances of the local dance troops bringing the grand performance ‘Judo Nature’.

Samira Afandi

Next, the audience witnessed a sword dance battle between medieval soldiers alternating with dancers in beautiful traditional costumes showcasing local folk dances on invigorating music. Famous local singer Samira Afandi closed the official opening ceremony with a beautiful song.

See also
IJF Mourns the Passing Away of Josef Letosnik

30. Nov. 2020 / It is with great sadness that we learned of the passing ...

Kaori Yamaguchi: I Was So Young

30. Nov. 2020 / As we have just celebrated the first Women’s World ...

1980 Women’s World Championships: Interview
The Witness and The Beneficiary

28. Nov. 2020 / In 1937 a dictatorship-style government was in power ...

Women's World Championships 1980
It's Time to Celebrate

27. Nov. 2020 / The celebrations for the First Women’s World Judo ...

Four of a Kind

27. Nov. 2020 / It makes sense to end our series of interviews and ...

JudoFit Kids Golden League
On Thursdays, We Stay Fit

26. Nov. 2020 / It's Thursday and like every Thursday, for a few weeks, ...

VIDEO: Kata Commission
The IJF Releases the New Version of the Kodomo-No-Kata

25. Nov. 2020 / Following a fruitful project between the French Judo ...

Yvonne Bönisch Moves to Austria

25. Nov. 2020 / Her record is eloquent: Olympic champion in 2004 in ...

Kerrye Katz

25. Nov. 2020 / As Australia is in the Antipodes, this time, we will ...

First Women's World Championships: The Trailer

25. Nov. 2020 / On Novermber 28th, we celebrate the 40th Anniversary ...

The IJF Mourns the Passing of Simeon Tsenev of Bulgaria

24. Nov. 2020 / Today it is our sad duty to mark the passing of a man ...

Update from IJF President Marius Vizer on Doha Masters

23. Nov. 2020 /

1980 Women's World Championship
Celebrations Take Shape

23. Nov. 2020 / The celebrations for the 40th anniversary of the first ...

Shishime Ai (JPN)

08. Jun. 2018 / The next reigning world champion to be invited to answer ...

5 Key Takeaways from judo’s first Tokyo 2020 qualifier

06. Jun. 2018 / Highlights from Hohhot Grand Prix 2018

Judo for the World in Iran

07. Jun. 2018 / In April 2018, the International Judo Federation and ...

JUDO: A Beneficial Cause

07. Jun. 2018 / 'Society should believe in sport as a beneficial cause ...