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Judo: Pajulahti ready for Small Country Challenge

Date: July 2, 2023

Category: Judo

The Finnish Olympic and Paralympic Training Centre of Pajulahti, Finland, is ready to host the first edition of the Small Country Challenge, a judo competition for blind and visually impaired athletes, this Monday, June 2. This event is organised by Tikkurila Judo Club in cooperation with the Finnish Judo Federation and IBSA.

This new competition, the first of its kind, is set to promote judo in the so-called small countries, which have few visually disabled judokas and have nothing to do with the geographical size of the country!

Every judoka participating in this competition is given three World Ranking List points. That is why there was a criteria for participation: valid classification according to the relatively new classification rules in judo (J1 or J2). Also, athletes participating must be without medals or points (1ST-5th place at any Paralympic Games and World Championships IBSA (World Games included).

Accreditations are sold out
The maximum number of accreditations is 100, and the Local Organising Committee (LOC) announced that teams are booked into the competitions on a first-come, first-served basis. Now competition is overbooked: 43 male athletes and 21 female athletes and staff. The total number is 125.

The Small Country Challenge consists of two parts. During a one-day competition, there is a chance to earn World Ranking Points and to make sure that an athlete is on the road towards the Paris Paralympics 2024. During the four-day training camp, athletes and their coaches have a chance to train together and learn from each other. The training camp is focusing on the special aspects of blind and visually impaired judo. The aim is that after the camp, every participant will have something new in their toolbox for judo.

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