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Judo: The last run for Paris 2024

Date: February 15, 2024

Category: Judo

The IBSA Judo Road to Paris 2024 is getting to its final and crucial moment. From the long list of 18 tournaments, with points for the Paralympic Ranking, started in September of 2022 in Cagliari, Italy, with the 2022 IBSA European Championships, the journey is entering the final three competitions, which will decide the final list of judokas that can guarantee their presence at the most important sport event on the planet.

In 2023, IBSA got 11 tournaments as part of the qualification process, in which 1515 judoka participated in tournaments on four continents: five in Europe, four in Asia, one in Africa, and one in America.

Of those 1515 participants, 953 were men and 562 were women.

The biggest competition was the International German Open Heidelberg with 235 athletes from 47 countries, followed close by the 2023 IBSA World Games, which took place at Birmingham University in the United Kingdom with 235 athletes from 42 countries.

The 2023 IBSA Judo Grand Prix Tokyo had 41 countries participating, with 181 athletes, and the 2023 IBSA Judo Grand Prix Baku had 36 countries participating, with 196 athletes. The 2023 IBSA Judo Grand Prix Alexandria closes this top-five podium with 33 countries and 161 athletes.

Impressive numbers in a Paralympic cycle of change. After Tokyo, weight categories changed and two classes were created: J1, for blind and almost blind athletes, and J2, for partially sighted judokas, separating the blind athletes from the visually impaired to have fairer fights.

To promote and develop Judo in countries where the sport has less expression, the IBSA Judo Sport Committee, with the support of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and the International Judo Federation (IJF), and with the organisation of the National Paralympic Committee of Finland and the Finnish Judo Association, created the Small Country Challenge.

This competition took place at the Pajulahti Olympic and Paralympic Sport Complex in Finland and gathered 56 judokas from 19 countries.

“The IBSA Judo Committee has noticed that a lot of new competitors have appeared. The knowledge of many of them does not yet reach the average. That’s when the idea was born, which is a real innovation, to organise an event (competition and training camp) that supports beginners and develops competitors with comparable skills. The goal is for these competitors to catch up to the front line as soon as possible. And this can only be achieved with cooperation and special tools,”  wrote János Tardos, the IBSA Judo Sport Committee chairperson, after the competition.

This weekend, Germany will host the first tournament of three that holds the final list of athletes qualified for Paris 2024. This time, as part of the Grand Prix schedule sanctioned by IBSA. Tomorrow we will welcome the 2024 IBSA Judo Grand Prix Heidelberg with all the news about the event.

Stay tuned!

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