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Judo Grand Prix, Abu Dhabi 2012 - PREVIEW

The official draw of the Judo Grand Prix, Abu Dhabi 2012 was held today at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Company (ADNEC), just next to the competition venue, which is under preparation for the next three-day tournament (October 11 to 13).

 

This year's Grand Prix is the first main IJF event since the London Olympic Games and it 'opens' a new Olympic cycle, which will end in four years with the Rio Olympics.

  The Future of Judo "Congratulations to those who won a medal last August, in London but also congratulations to all the participants of that great event" said the IJF President, Marius Vizer, to the 27 delegations present during the draw. He then took a long and necessary time to describe the process that has been engaged by the IJF to adapt judo: "Based on the experience that has been gained over the past years, we recently organized an important meeting with the best judo experts in the world (cf. http://www.intjudo.eu/News/cikk2291) to discuss about the future of our sport. Based on their proposals, we are going to elaborate a project that will be discussed in Salvador on the occasion of the upcoming Team World Championship, and we will start to implement the decision next January. Our aim is to adapt and correct the technical rules if it is necessary."   President Vizer also clearly explained that no changes will be made during the two years prior to the games, before concluding is speech by wishing good luck to all the participants and by thanking the organizing committee and the judo national federation of Abu Dhabi for its tremendous work to make judo more understandable and accessible for the local public: "The Judo Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi has become a major event in our calendar. good luck and thank you to all of you!"   Then, Mr. Vizer passed the floor to Mohamed Bin Thaloub the President of Abu Dhabi Judo, who expressed his sincere gratitude to the IJF and the entire judo family: "I wish to see even more judo in my country in the upcoming years. Our team has put a lot of efforts to build that event. We are very proud of it and we will definitely continue to work hard."   The Draw After those introduction words, that were appreciated by all the delegations, Mr. Vladimir Barta, the IJF Head Sports Director, conducted the draw procedure. The draw of several categories was particularly awaited. In the men's -60kg, the two favorites of the competition will be Beslan MUDRANOV (RUS - WRL 3) and Amiran PAPINASHVILI (GEO - WRL 5) while the silver Olympic Medallist from Beijing 2008, Ludwig Paischer (WRL 21), from Austria, could shake up the ranking positions. In the Men's -66kg, the clash of the Titans, will occur during the first fight of the day between, world number one, Alim GADANOV (RUS) and Rishod SOBIROV (UZB), who is coming from the lower category.  After that fight the draw will be totally open. In the men's -73kg, the favorites of the competition will be the two Uzbek fighters, Navruz JURAKOBILOV and Mirali SHARIPOV, respectively 8th and 9th at the World Ranking List. In the lower part of the draw, Dirk VAN TICHELT (BEL) will also have good chances. The two athletes with the most chances to step on the podium in the men's -81kg will be Sirazhudin MAGOMEDOV (RUS) and Sergiu TOMA (MDA). The team of Japan, like it is the case in all the other categories, will be the unknown parameter as most of the players are from the young generation. The men's -90kg might be dominated by Dilshod CHORIEV (UZB) and Kirill VOPROSOV (RUS) who are the two top seeded athletes. In the men's -100kg, the recent Police Judo World Champion, Sergei SAMOILOVICH (RUS), in the absence of his teammate and Olympic Champion, Tagir Khaibulaev, will be the ultimate favorite, but once again, Uzbekistan, which came in Abu Dhabi with its top team, can change the predictions with Ramziddin SAYIDOV (WRL 5). The +100kg category is totally open in the absence of the top athletes.    In the women's categories it is more difficult to draw some predictions as many teams came in Abu Dhabi with young athletes in order to test them at that level of competition. France, Brazil, Mongolia will be among the favorite teams with athletes such as Erika MIRANDA (BRA - WRL 4), Ilse HEYLEN (BEL - WRL 8) and Majlinda KELMENDI (KOS - WRL 9), who missed her Games, in the -52kg category or with Jovana ROGIC (SRB) or Sabrina FILZMOSER (AUT) in the women's -57kg. In the women's -63kg, the winner of last year's edition of the tournament, Clarisse AGBEGNENOU (FRA) will be the favorite of day 2, when in the upper category, Maria PORTELA (BRA) has good chances, as well as the Canadian, Catherine Roberge, or the British, Natalie POWELL, in the women's -78kg. In the last weight category, the women' s +78, the final could be played between Maria Suelen ALTHEMAN (BRA) and Emilie ANDEOL (FRA).   Same Rules - Announcement for Next Year Policy About the Judogi After the important moment of the draw, Juan Carlos Barcos, the IJF Head Refereeing Director, explained that the rules, which will be applied during the next three days, are the same as the one which have been implemented over the past years. Mohamed Meridja, the IJF Education and Coaching Director, presented to the audience the decision that was taken on the occasion of the last executive committee meeting held in London on July 25th, 2012: "From the World Championships in Rio 2013 on, the reserve judogi will be removed and only supplied to replace any torn judogi or equipments holding blood stains, which may occur during a fight. Therefore the IJF will supply two sokuteiki (measurement instrument used for the judogi control) for each National Federation in order to control by themselves the judogi of their athletes prior to their participation to an IJF event." This intervention, was also the occasion to directly say to all the coaches that the new IJF system to order the back numbers is now running athttp://www.ijfbacknumber.com/

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