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#IDSDP2024: Para judo’s big plans for Africa

Date: April 4, 2024

Category: Judo

Published by the IJF

International Judo Federation (IJF) Education and Coaching Director, Mohamed Meridja followed the IBSA Judo Grand Prix Antalya 2024 from the stands.

After three days of the IJF grand slam, the two days of qualifying competition for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games interested him greatly.

Ahead of the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, Meridja reflected on the development of Para judo, specifically in Africa where it has been growing in popularity.

“I feel great motivation from all the participants. Everyone is trying to do everything to succeed and to qualify for the big Paralympic event. This constant commitment warms the heart. The organisation is very good. The benefit of having a grand slam just before is felt strongly.

Sincerely, all Para judo athletes are examples for everyone. Whether they lose or win, there is enormous respect. We are watching for who gives the biggest hug at the end of each contest. There is also enormous respect for the referees who are more partners in the final result than judges.

All judoka emanate a great inner strength where friendship plays a preponderant role. They are an example to follow.

As an African sport leader, I am also very interested in what I saw. In Tokyo, three years ago, there was only one African country represented. In Paris, we will be close to 10. This is great development and above all a necessary development.

Under the leadership of the president of the African Judo Union, Siteny Randrianasolo-Niaiko, we have a vision for the future and this vision includes the development of the practice of Para judo. We therefore plan to organise competitions on African soil, at least two or three per year. We have several countries that will be good organisers.

We have a significant population of visually impaired people in Africa and we must find ways to support them. For this we will work hand in hand with IBSA and the judo commission in particular. It’s important that we can provide support.”

 You can watch the all events from the Antalya 2024 IBSA Judo Grand Prix by clicking here.

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