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IBSA Judo Grand Prix in Baku to be ‘Triumph of Spirit’

Date: February 28, 2019


The organisers of the opening International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) Judo Grand Prix of 2019 taking place in Baku, Azerbaijan, from 13-14 May, have revealed the competition slogan: Triumph of Spirit'.

The announcement was made at a press conference on Wednesday (27 February) attended by members of the Local Organising Committee and IBSA Judo representatives.

The President of the National Paralympic Committee (NPC), Ilgar Rahimov; IBSA Judo Sports Director János Tardos; Secretary General of the Judo Federation of Azerbaijan Elmar Babanli; First Vice-President of the NPC Natig Gasimov; Vice President and double Paralympic champion Ilham Zakiyev; Secretary General Kamal Mammadov and the head coaches of men's and women's teams Ibrahim Ibrahimov and Ramin Ibrahimov were all in attendance to make a series of announcements.

Caption: NPC President Ilgar Rahimov shows the press the medal design for the Baku Grand Prix. (© Information Agency Report)

Ilgar Rahimov revealed the competition would take place under the slogan ‘Triumph of Spirit.' Rahimov also noted that it was the first time that Azerbaijan will host a competition of this kind.

The Grand Prix will take place at the Heydar Aliyev Sports and Concert Complex. Preparations for the competition began last year and are progressing smoothly.

"We express our gratitude to the government agencies and other organisations that are supporting us in this event. We would like to thank the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Population, the National Olympic Committee, the Azerbaijan Judo Federation and the Baku Transport Agency for their support in organizing this prestigious event. Thanks to public television, ASAN Radio and Azertac State Information Agency for supporting us in the coverage of the event, as well as other mass media covering events", Rahimov said.

He announced that 29 countries have entered 228 athletes so far. In all around 350 athletes from 40 countries are expected to compete. Azerbaijan will be represented by 13 men in seven weight categories and 11 women in seven weight categories.

Caption: an Azerbaijani judoka in action at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

The athletes and delegations coming to Baku will stay at the Baku Royal Garden and Days hotels, and the Baku Transport Agency will assist with transport.

According to the NPC President, the opening ceremony will be an exciting affair: “In this regard, the NPC is preparing a magnificent flash mob. We will benefit from the participation of volunteers, as well as individuals with disabilities, in the preparation of the flash mob. We will benefit from the support of the Theater of the Assyrians to hold the flash mob."

Rahimov also highlighted the opportunity to take full advantage of the event to promote the inclusion of persons with disabilities in society.

"We want this competition to be a holiday for our Paralympians, our citizens with impairments. That is why we have attracted individuals with disabilities to the organisational work of this event. At the same time, we have started to work towards the creation of the Paralympic Volunteer Movement. We will benefit from the services of individuals with disabilities at the opening ceremony and in other parts of the organization. This will once more prove that individuals with disabilities are able to fully participate in community life."

Rahimov announced that an exhibition and craft fair featuring handicrafts by persons with disabilities will be held at the venue during competitions. He confirmed the ‘Triumph of Spirit’ competition, which will help the NPC to promote the event. The competition will be organised in partnership with the Azerbaijan Union of Artists.

The NPC chief also spoke about spectators, and confirmed entry to the competition will be free of charge.

Caption: the NPC President and IBSA Judo Sports Director speak at the press conference (© Information Agency Report)

IBSA Judo Sports Director Janos Tardos was on a two-day site inspection in Baku to review preparations for the Grand Prix. As part of his visit, Tardos inspected the competition venue and also visited the National Ophthalmology Center named after academic Zarifa Aliyeva, where classification of athletes will take place.


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