The Tashkent Grand Slam 2023 is about to start. Today the draw of the competition was held in the presence of, representing the IJF, Vlad Marinescu, Director General, Dr Lisa Allan, Events Director and Mr Armen Bagdasarov, Head Referee Director and representing the local organisers, Dr Adham Ikramov, Minister of Youth Policy and Sports of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Mr Oybek Kasimov, National Olympic Committee General Secretary and Mr Azizbek Sobirov, Uzbekistan Judo Federation General Secretary.

Before the draw, Dr Lisa Allan opened the floor with a minute of silence in memory of Michel Koslowski. She said, "Sadly, I must inform you that we have recently lost a member of our beloved judo family. Mr Michel Koslowski has passed away following a devastating illness. A true gentleman with a love for kata, Michel was a member of the IJF Kata Commission since 2008 and the EJU Kata Commission since 2003. Our condolences are with his family and friends at this tragic time."

Mr Vlad Marinescu launched the official draw of the tournament, "Dear Minister Ikramov, dear NOC General Secretary Kasimov and dear national federation General Secretary Sobirov, it is a great honour and pleasure that the judo family returns to the beautiful city of Tashkent, after last year’s spectacle, a remarkable event that will always be remembered, a world championships which took place in this amazing city.

From left to right: Mr Armen Bagdasarov, IJF Head Referee Director, Mr Vlad Marinescu, IJF Director General and Dr Lisa Allan, IJF Events Director

On behalf of our President Mr Marius Vizer and our executive board, we would like to welcome everybody to this beautiful event, the grand slam here in Tashkent, that will continue the World Judo Tour on the road to the Olympic Games #Paris2024.

Judo for this nation is a sport that is beloved and we can see that from all levels of leadership. We'd like to thank and congratulate everyone from the government of the country all the way to the fans and volunteers, everybody involved from the sponsors to the media and the partners, for making this event a tremendous, excellent event that demonstrates the beauty and the culture and the values of both the nation of Uzbekistan and the sport of judo, for the educational lifestyle of judo as well.

From left to right: Mr Oybek Kasimov, National Olympic Committee General Secretary, Dr Adham Ikramov, Minister of Youth Policy and Sports of the Republic of Uzbekistan and Mr Azizbek Sobirov, Uzbekistan Judo Federation General Secretary

We wish of course to all the athletes and competitors a great show. We wish all the fans at home to enjoy these days of superb judo. You can watch live, from the morning, all the rounds at as well as of course all around the world on all the TV platforms, the live final blocks and the news coverage on EuroNews.

Wishing all a great stay her in Tashkent, an amazing show and the best of luck."

Dr Adham Ikramov declared, "Assalomu alaykum. Good day to all. Dear honourable guests and friends, as the Director General mentioned, the international judo family returns to Tashkent, Uzbekistan and from the Ministry of Youth Policy and Sport, I would like to welcome all of you and thank you for the trust in Uzbekistan, in the sport family of Uzbekistan, especially in the National Olympic Committee and national judo federation.

Mr Vlad Marinescu, IJF Director General

On behalf of the Ministry of Youth Policy and Sport, I would like to welcome each of you to Tashkent for the draw ceremony of the Tashkent Grand Slam 2023. First of all let me express my gratitude for the trust placed in us by the IJF to hold this sporting event in our country. It is one of the most important events in the run up to the Olympic Games in Paris 2024.

We can be proud that Uzbekistan has a long experience hosting IJF tournaments. This grand slam is organised for the second time. I have to especially admit that the success of the world championships in 2022 was a great honour for all of us and we are proud that our athletes won two gold medals.

Dr Adham Ikramov, Minister of Youth Policy and Sports of the Republic of Uzbekistan

I am assuring you that this event will be organised at the highest level too. There is special care from the government, from our President, H.E. Shavkat Mirziyoyev. A special decree was signed last year by our President and today in the different regions of Uzbekistan we created and opened several IJF schools at primary school level.

We expect this tournament to be a sparkling event and that this competition will bring opportunities to earn valuable points for Olympic qualification for Paris 2024.

Mr Oybek Kasimov, National Olympic Committee General Secretary

I wish all the coaches, the country teams and our judoka, the athletes, a very good stay in Uzbekistan. The weather is very good, the atmosphere is very warm and you are once again welcome to Uzbekistan and I wish you a successful tournament during the next few days."

Mr Oybek Kasimov said, "Good afternoon, distinguished guests, Director General, our dear friend, Vlad Marinescu, Mr Armen Bagdasarov, Dr Lisa Allan. It is a big honour for us to have all of you again in Tashkent, all the IJF family. As it was mentioned by our Minister, Uzbekistan is very glad to host this kind of solid international event, like the grand slam of judo. Thanks to our government and our President of the country, Uzbekistan is trying to deliver at its best to host this event at the highest level. I hope everyone will be happy with their stay. Welcome to Uzbekistan."

After the draw was completed, Mr Marinescu added, "I just want to mention one more time the special consideration and gratitude on behalf of our President, Mr Vizer, our executive board and the whole judo family to the Republic of Uzbekistan, the President of the country, the Ministry of Youth Policy and sport. Mr Adham Ikramov, it is an honour to have you here, thank you for your time and the attention you give to judo and its development. Of course we must mention again the Olympic committee, because Mr Oybek Kasimov has been very much pushing and supporting and instilling the values of judo not only in the country but in his work as well. Finally, as an example of a national federation, with its President Mr Azizjon Kamilov, working hard to promote judo, Uzbekistan is an exemplar. We are full or gratitude to him for hosting us here with the highest standards, giving the athletes a great platform on which to compete and show their best performances in front of a full stadium sold out to passionate fans from this lovely country."

Follow the competition at and on social media.

Day 1: Start 10:00am Day 2: Start 11:00am Day 3: Start 11:00am

Every day the final block starts at 17:00 local time

See also