Dushanbe is the newest city on the World Judo Tour, opening up a new country for the rest of the judo world. The competition begins at 10:30am on Friday 2nd June at the Kasri Tennis Arena, introducing the Tajik and Central Asian judo communities to all the best the international scene has to offer. Forty countries will compete for the 14 grand prix golds and those all-important world ranking points, just ahead of the World Judo Masters in Hungary in August. Participation at the Masters is a big goal for all Olympic hopefuls and so Tajikistan is an important venue in the cycle.
The inaugural Dushanbe Grand Prix draw

Mr Vlad Marinescu, the IJF Director General, opened proceedings with a warm welcome, "Dear Vice President of the Tajikistan Judo Federation, Mr Ergash Makhmadbekov, dear Vice President of the National Olympic Committee, Mr Dilshod Nazarov, who is also an Olympic champion in hammer, and dear General Secretary of the federation, Mr Erkin Latipov, dear friends and judo family members, it is a great pleasure and honour to arrive here in Tajikistan for their first ever grand prix."

IJF Director General Vlad Marinescu with IJF Commentator and MC for the draw, Mr Sheldon Franco-Rooks

"Tajikistan concentrates on sport, culture and health massively, areas where the IJF is also focussed. As a result of this, Tajikistan can count on a world number one in the +100kg category, with Temur Rakhimov.

We are really happy to be in Tajikistan under the leadership of H.E. Emomali Rahmon, the president of the country. Thank you to Rustam Emomali, the Mayor of the city, for hosting the best judoka in the world.

The spirit and values of our sport will be highlighted during the weekend as well as friendship and unity in this continuous qualification period for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

I want to thank also the new president of the Tajikistan Judo Federation, Mr Ismoil Mahmadzoir, and his team for their continuous support for the development of our sport."

"Judo is an educational sport, where perseverance and discipline generates a better life. Through our activities we remain committed to all initiatives supporting mental health and physical performance.

On behalf of the IJF President, Mr Marius Vizer and the Executive Committee members, I wish all the best of luck to our participants."

The Kasri Tennis Arena is almost ready

Mr Ergash Makhmadbekov, declared, "Dear distinguished guests, athletes and friends, on behalf of the President of the Federation, Mr Ismoil Mahmadzoir, I want to welcome our guests to our scenic Tajikistan and the beautiful city of Dushanbe. For the Tajikistan Judo Federation, the Dushanbe Grand Prix will be a fist step and a memorable event.

I wish good luck and prosperity to the referees and all participants and officials and I wish you a delightful stay in our country."

Mr Armen Bagdasarov, IJF Head Referee Director, then highlighted the strength of the refereeing team selected to officiate in Dushanbe before Mr Marinescu then ran the draw procedure itself.

IJF Head Referee Director Mr Armen Bagdasarov

With the draw then done and the weigh-in for day one complete, all that’s left are the final preparations at the venue and within the delegations.

All of tomorrow’s action will be streamed online via JudoTV.com and we can’t sit to see you there.

The Kasri Tennis Arena
See also