Zagreb Looking Forward To World Junior Championships
At the Grand Prix in Zagreb last weekend everyone had eyes only for Frenchman and nine time world champions Teddy Riner, who had chosen Zagreb in order to fine-tune his preparation for the next Open weight World Championships that will take place in Marrakesh in November.
Following Riner’s last title in Budapest, the French giant was involved in the attribution of the 2024 Olympic Games to Paris and had less time than usual to train for September, which came into play at the Budapest World Championships, especially in his semi-final against Georgian Guram Tushishvili.
It was very interesting also to follow the other weight categories present on tatami today, with for instance a particularly explosive U100kg weight class in which athletes such as Elkhan Mammadov (AZE), 2013 World Champion, Karl-Richard Frey (GER), world medalist, Elmar Gasimov (AZE), Olympic silver medallist, Varlam Liparteliani (GEO), recent world silver medalist and Nishiyama Daiki (JPN), two times world silver medalist, were present. This plethora of great champions did not exclude surprises, which actually happened.
Vladimir Barta, IJF Head Sport Director said
“At every IJF event we see new faces and this was again the case here in Zagreb, which shows the vitality of our sport and that we are able to produce new generations at a constant pace. Zagreb has now become a big organizer of IJF events. This is not easy but they have done an amazing job during this Grand Prix and I am confident that they will do again everything possible during the Junior World Championships. Of course today we were also happy to see Teddy Riner back in competition. Between Rio and Budapest he did not compete and only three weeks after the Worlds he is already back in action. This is good for him and for judo, especially prior to the Open weight World Championships in Marrakesh.”
IJF competition manager Dr. Lisa Allan who was elected as a new IJF Executive Committee member in August said: “The organizing committee has gained a lot of experience over the past years and in partnership with our team they have done everything to welcome all the delegation in the best way possible. I am really looking forward to being back here in a few weeks for the Junior World Championships. To date, we already have 86 countries and 641 athletes registered, which is really amazing.”