Among those watching from the sidelines during the day were Olympic Games Executive Director Mr Christophe DUBI, IOC Member Mrs Nawal EL MOUTAWAKEL of Morocco, Mrs Maria de la Caridad COLON RUENES of Cuba, Mr Alex GILADY of Israel and Ms Filomena FORTES of Cape Verde. French IOC member Mr Guy Drut presented the first French judo gold medal at the Games to Clarisse. There to hand over the second medal for Belgium at the Tokyo Olympic Games was Belgian IOC member Baron Pierre-Olivier BECKERS-VIEUJANT, who shared the medal moment with his medallist Matthias Casse.
With judo being one of the most exciting and visual sports to watch at the Games, many National Olympic Committee Presidents and officials joined the judo family to support their athletes. Ms Brigitte HENRIQUES, President of the French National Olympic and Sport Committee, was on site to cheer on Clarisse Agbegnenou in her quest for gold.
H.E. Sheikh FAHAD NASSER SABAH AL AHMAD AL-SABAH, President of the Kuwait Olympic Committee, Mr Paolo WANDERLEY TEIXERA, President of the Brazilian Olympic Committee, Mr Julio MAGLIONE, President of the Uruguayan Olympic Committee and Mr Spyros CAPRALOS President of the European Olympic Committee cheered together from the edge of the tatami.
There to witness the 5th judo gold for Japan was Mr Yasuhiro YAMASHITA, President of the Japanese Olympic Committee, enjoying another impressive achievement for the Japanese team!
Without international federations, the Olympic sports would not be where they are today. We were honoured to have several international federation presidents join us in the Nippon Budokan, including Mr Ingmar DE VOS, President of the International Federation for Equestrian Sports, Mr Jose PERURENA, President of the International Canoe Federation and Mr Nenad LALOVIC, President of United World Wrestling. To witness the inspiring story and silver medal of Saeid Mollaei was Mr KHALTMAA Battulga, President of the Mongolian Judo Association, without whom Saeid’s participation would not have been possible.
Other esteemed guests in our tribune were Mr UEMURA Haruki, IJF World Promotion Director, Mr Mehmet KASAPOGLU, Turkish Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Aziz ABDUHAKIMOV, Minister of Tourism and Sports for the Republic of Uzbekistan, Mr Yehiel TROPPER, Israeli Minister of Culture and Sport, Mr Benjamin LAKATOS, Mr Jaber AL SABAH, Mr Mubarak AL SABAH and Ms Valéry FOURNEYRON, International Testing Agency Chair of the Board.
Here’s to another historic day of judo!