Montreal, June 18, 2019 – Nearly 350 athletes, 60 countries, 50 television broadcasting and over 200 webcasts. The Montreal Judo Grand Prix, hosted at the Maurice-Richard Arena on July 5-7, will bring an international flavour, and not only for the judo community.
Among the countries to watch, Japan is obviously on top of the list. Not only because this is where judo comes from, but also because the Olympic dream is even more alive for Japanese judokas, knowing their country will be hosting the next Olympics.
Even though judo has champions coming from all continents, those from the Land of the Rising Sun have always been high-level athletes, regardless of the era.
One of the most prominent figures of judo in Japan is Kosei Inoue, who had defeated Nicolas Gill during the 2000 Sidney Olympic Games final in -100 kg. Nineteen years later, Mr. Inouie will be in Montreal as the Japanese men’s team coach. His team won’t be there to be tourists.
“The Montreal Grand Prix will be a high-level competition and we will be very prepared for this important event. The men’s team’s goal is to achieve top results in Montreal, and gain momentum for the upcoming World Championships and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games,” he explained.
We heard similar comments from Katsuyuki Masuchi, the Japanese women’s team coach.
“The Montreal Grand Prix will be one of the biggest events leading up to the 2019 World Championships and the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. The women’s team will be prepared to perform at our highest level. The Canadian judokas are always in great form, and I can see that athletes and coaches collaborate as a team to reach their objectives. Team Canada is one of our strongest rivals.”
Japanese Soichi Hashimoto, 2017 world champion in -73 kg, will be one to watch in Montreal. Other headliners are Brazilian Sarah Menezes, Olympic gold medallist in 2012 in -52 kg, Argentinian Paula Pareto, Olympic champion in 2016 in -48 kg, and German Alexander Wieczercak, world champion in 2017 in -81 kg.
Beyond results, the Montreal Judo Grand Prix will allow the sport to shine outside of Asia and Europe, where it is firmly secured, as stated by Marius Vizer, President of the IJF (International Judo Federation).
“We are looking forward to taking the IJF World Judo Tour to Canada for the inaugural Montreal Grand Prix. This is a tremendous opportunity to further develop judo in Canada and the Pan American region. I’m pleased to say that Canada is also a candidate to host the 2021 Cadet World Championships. This is an exciting time for Judo Canada!”
Canadians, Japanese, Europeans, Americans, Africans and Asians will all be gathered in Montreal with the same goal in mind: surpass themselves and make their country proud.
Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada
Chief Operation Officer