Zagreb has been a fantastic host city throughout the 2023 Zagreb Grand Prix. The senior athletes have now packed up and made their way home, to their 83 countries from all continents of the world, some with medals, many with Olympic ranking points.
The 2023 Zagreb Grand Prix

Zagreb remains on call, though, as in the space left behind by the departure of the senior elite, we find the arrival of the world’s best cadets. Most have checked in already, some will settle in today and tomorrow but Arena Zagreb is poised, ready to go again!

The 2023 World Cadet Championships for individuals and mixed teams will begin tomorrow, 23rd August, with the 4 lightest weight categories, concluding with the mixed team competition on Sunday 27th August. In preparation for these 5 days, the draw must be done and so it took place, as usual, in the online format. Present for the Croatian Judo Federation were federation President Dr Sanda Corak, EJU Vice-President Mr Hrvoje Lindi and Event Director for the Zagreb Grand Prix and the World Cadet Championships Ms Ana Krauthacker.

Dr Lisa Allan, Secretary General of the IJF, began with a welcome, “Dear President Corak, dear judo family, on behalf of IJF President Mr Marius Vizer, welcome to you all to the beautiful City of Zagreb and to the 2023 World Cadet Championships. We are here with our youngest athletes, those whom have climbed to the top of the world in their age category, ready to compete for the chance to be world champion.

We thank Dr Sanda Corak and her team for the always professional collaboration. Thank you to both the IJF and local sponsors for their invaluable support.

During this world championship, as part of the IJF’s continuous dedication to clean sport and fair play, we invite everyone to visit the Clean Judo - Clean Sport booth, in collaboration with the Croatian Anti-Doping Agency in the Arena Zagreb, Tribune C. We also invite our online viewers to visit the Athlete Hub website of our anti-doping partner, the International Testing Agency, for information and to challenge your anti-doping knowledge with WADA’s Play True Quiz, available in 49 languages.

As we move on with our draw, I wish all participants the best of luck and may the best athletes win.”

Dr Sanda Corak

Dr Sanda Corak, President of the Croatian Judo Federation, then responded, “On behalf of the Croatian Judo Federation, it is my great pleasure to wish you a warm welcome to Croatia, to the city of Zagreb and to the World Cadet Championships.

After organising the Zagreb Grand Prix for seniors, we are glad that we also have the opportunity to host the most important event for young judoka, the 2023 World Championships.

I am sure that some new champions will be born in these 5 days of individual and mixed team competitions but we will also be glad if we succeed in illustrating the core values of judo throughout the competitions; respecting others with modesty and courtesy. For that we need to all collaborate, to make this event truly great.

I would like to thank all who helped us with the organisation of this event, from the volunteers to the sponsors and all who continuously support the Croatian Judo Federation. My thanks go to all our IJF colleagues and to the IJF President, Mr Marius Vizer.

I believe many friendships will be created during the event and I wish all the best for the individual and team contests. I do hope that there will be some time to enjoy and experience the city of Zagreb.”

Mr Florin Daniel Lascau, IJF Head Referee Director then made an important observation for all those concerned with cadet categories, “The referees for this event are selected from among the world’s best referees, to ensure a safe judo is always seen on the tatami . For this age category this is the priority. We continue to encourage all judoka to practice the 100 techniques as listed by the Kodokan."

Mr Florin Daniel Lascau

"We wish all judoka and delegations a successful and safe world championship in Zagreb.”

Ahead of the draw itself, the daily start times and other essential information was noted:

Day 1, Wednesday 23rd August, 10:30

Day 2, Thursday 24th August, 8:30

Day 3, Friday 25th August, 9:00

Day 4, Saturday 26th August, 10:30

Day 5 for mixed teams, Sunday 27th August, 10:00.

The final block will begin at 4pm each day.

Backpatch and judogi repairs should be requested at the sewing station only on the day before an athlete competes, to help manage the large number of requests.

Mr Vladimir Barta, IJF Head Sport Director, then conducted the business of the official draw, “Here we have 576 athletes from 64 countries, with the -66 kg category being the largest athletes, 55 athletes.”

Following the individual draw, that of the mixed team event took place. “We are proud to have seeded teams for the 2023 World Championship Cadets for Mixed Teams. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our IJF IT Team for always bringing us a perfect draw. Next we draw which category will begin for the first round of the mixed team event, an event where will see many of our future heroes arrive on the world stage for the first time.

Good luck for all team and individual competitors.”

The work of the IJF IT Team at the World Cadet Championship draw.

The draw is done, the first athletes are weighed in and making their final preparations. The 2023 World Cadet Championships is only a few hours away and we know already there will be some spectacular judo on display. Tune in via JudoTV to keep up with all the action and statistics.

See also