One hundred and ninety-two athletes warmed up to compete on day one in Zagreb. This is a clear sign that Olympic qualification has passed the midway stage and now every single point has significance and emphasis. No points are halved anymore, not from Mongolia on, from the end of last June until a few months from now when the lists will freeze and we will know exactly who to expect in Paris.
Zagreb 2023

With this huge entry and so many countries vying for places, the day brought incredible excitement. Judo fans around the world have enjoyed Soumiya Iraoui putting an African nation into a final, the Serbian -48kg women pushing each other almost to their limits again, Spanish lightweight men employing dynamism and force, the Stangar sisters overcoming everything life throws at them and always doing so together, and how about Cyprus winning contests, reaching the final block and at -66kg even taking out the number one seed? What a day!

Iraoui of Morocco celebrates her ascendence to the final of the -52kg category in Zagreb.

Asia, Pan-America and Europe all have nations in the final block, alongside the Moroccan athlete. Diversity has been assured for the first end-of-day medal table.

Day 1

In Zagreb we are always confident that the organisation will be good, issues pertaining to equality, sustainability and judo values will be considered and solved, and the venue will offer all the right conditions for performance. In 2023, the Zagreb Grand Prix is no different, in those terms. What is different is the enormous number of athletes, the incredible number of nations and the range of experience between judoka. It has been an absolute blast and we are already on the edge of our seats in anticipation for tomorrow.

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