Today, just before the final block of day 2, the official opening ceremony of the Tashkent Grand Slam 2023 took place in the Yunusabad Sport Hall, in the presence of Mr Marius L Vizer, International Judo Federation President, and Mr Odil Abduraxmonov, Adviser to the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan. The spectators and guests were warmly welcomed with a loud 'Assalomu alaykum' to stunning Tashkent, capital city of Uzbekistan.

Mr Abduraxmonov declared, "Good afternoon dear sportsmen, judoka, referees, dear world judo family and dear Mr Vizer, we are very pleased to welcome you all to Uzbekistan. Today under the leadership of our our respected President, great attention is paid to all kinds of sports and physical culture as well as to the promotion of a healthy lifestyle among the population.

Mr Odil Abduraxmonov and Mr Marius Vizer

Nowadays judo is one of the most popular sports in Uzbekistan and more than 20,000 young girls and boys are practising this sport. I would like to mention our heroes, our champions, Abdullo Tangriev, Rishod Sobirov, Davlat Bobonov, Muzaffarbek Turoboyev and Gulnoza Matniyazova who participated in the Olympic Games and international competitions and won medals for our country.

Mr Odil Abduraxmonov

I would like to mention that at the Tashkent Grand Slam 2023, women and girls from all over the world participated and, using that opportunity, on the eve of World Women's Day, I would like to congratulate you and wish you all the very best and express my best wishes.

The competition that started yesterday is full of uncompromising and bright fights and we believe, international experts and dear guests, that those who visited our country will leave Uzbekistan with only positive emotions and unforgettable memories.

On this occasion, I'd like to wish all athletes good health and all the best."

Mr Marius Vizer

Then Mr Marius Vizer declared, "Distinguished Mr Odil Abduraxmonov, distinguished Deputy Minister of Sport, dear friends Azizbek Sobirov and Oybek Kasimov, distinguished VIP guests of the International Judo Federation, dear judo family, partners, spectators, judoka and staff, we are back in the country of innovation, youth, sport, culture and reforms. After a successful world championship last year, we are coming back with the organisation of a great event, the grand slam, part of the World Judo Tour, an Olympic qualification event, a great event organised by the Uzbek Judo Federation.

On behalf of the international judo family, with our judo values and principles, we are asking the world’s leaders to make their best efforts for peace because peace and stability offer protection for the universal values of stability, economy, friendship, unity and solidarity in the world. A dialogue for peace is the only solution to bring the world back to stability and unity.

Our sport is ready to contribute with all effort,values and principles to re-establish the dialogue towards reconciliation and peace in the world.

I wish you a successful event and all the best. Thank you for the hospitality, for the friendship of the government and the judo federation, the Olympic committee and the sport ministry.

I declare the Tashkent Grand Slam open! Thank you."

The official anthems of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the International Judo Federation followed, before the public enjoyed the performance of a folkloric group playing the national Uzbek instrument, the doira, and perforating the national dance.

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