The time is nearly upon us; the draw for the World Judo Championships – Doha 2023, the main event of this year’s IJF World Judo Tour, took place this afternoon in the Qatari capital, after weeks of intense build up and feverish anticipation. Watch video here.
The proceedings commenced with a short promotional video featuring many prospective, current and former world champions, each with their own motivation and with each confidently affirming, “I will be world champion.” We will be watching with excitement to see if the likes of Christa Deguchi, Rafaela Silva and Matthias Casse can make their dreams a reality but first there is the small matter of who will be standing in their way.
The draw was opened by IJF General Secretary Dr Lisa Allan, newly-elected at the biannual IJF Congress, held in the days leading up to the event.
“Dear judo family, welcome to the draw for the World Judo Championships – Doha 2023, here in the beautiful country of Qatar. We will have the individuals and the mixed team competitions. We are very grateful to the Local Organising Committee for their hard work in the preparation of this event. We are sure that together with the IJF we will have an excellent competition.” Watch video here.
Dr Allan then passed the baton to the International Judo Federation President, Mr Marius Vizer, “Dear President Mr Khalid Hamad Al-Atiya, dear representatives of the Olympic Committee and Judo Federation of Qatar, dear IJF judo family, it is a great pleasure and honour to organise, in partnership with Qatar, the World Championships of 2023, the individual and team events. It is a great honour to celebrate judo in the country of sport, digitalisation and innovation. It’s a modern society and one of the biggest organisers of sporting events in the world today, now hosting the flagship event of the International Judo Federation.
“I want to send Qatar, the government, the citizens, the Local Organising Committee, the media, the partners, the volunteers, all of you as well, the judo family, all national federations, athletes, continental unions participating in the event, a message to wish all of you a successful world championships. The whole message from this world championships is a message of peace in the world. Thank you and all the best.”
Dr Allan then gave the floor to Mr Khalid Hamad Al-Atiya, President of the Qatar Taekwondo, Judo and Karate Federation, for a special welcome, “Mr Marius Vizer, President of the International Judo Federation, dear representatives of the national federations, dear attendees, peace be upon you. In the name of the championship organising committee and in my name, I welcome you to the draw of the World Judo Championships – Doha 2023. We are proud to say that Doha is fully ready to host this exceptional sporting event and we have spared no effort in order for everybody to live an unforgettable event. We worked hard to provide the best facilities and hospitality, that which such a great event deserves. I would like to express my gratitude to the IJF for trusting us with the responsibility of organising this great event. We are committed to guaranteeing that this championship achieves its objective of being a memorable and successful event.
Again, I welcome you to Doha and I wish everybody very good luck in this draw ceremony and in the World Judo Championship – Doha 2023 and peace be upon you.”
Dr Allan followed with all the important information to allow for the seamless running of the event, including the various start times for each day of competition. On Day 1, the competition will commence at 11:00 local time; on days 2-5 it will open at 10:30; on days 6 and 7 we begin at 11:30; and finally the judo will be from 10:30 on day 8. Unlike most events on the IJF World Tour, the final blocks will begin at 18:00 each day, instead of the usual 17:00.
The IJF Head Referee Director, Mr Florin Daniel Lascau, then made some short remarks on the refereeing for the competition, “Dear Mr President, the organising committee of the World Championships, for this event, the IJF Refereeing Commission has nominated the best possible referees in order to ensure the quality of the competition. I wish all the participants the best of luck.”
The draw itself was led by IJF Head Sport Director Mr Vladimir Barta and each category was preceded by a short promotional video highlighting the top contenders at the respective weight class.
Dr Allan concluded the event with more useful information for the mixed team event along with a reminder of the numerous ways that viewers can engage with the event, “You can follow us on social media using the hashtag #JudoWorlds and on our new platform judotv.com. You can watch all the athletes in action in what promises to be an excellent world judo championships, commencing tomorrow at 11:00 in the ABHA arena in the beautiful city of Doha, Qatar.”
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