Thursday, March 30, 2017

Tbilisi Grand Prix 2017, Georgia - Preview




For the fourth time in history, during the next three days, all eyes will be focused on Tbilisi, the capital city of the Republic of Georgia, as the country will host the second Grand Prix of the season, after the Düsseldorf Grand Prix last February (the IJF also already organised two Grand Slams, in Paris and Baku in 2017).


Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, Georgia is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the south by Turkey and Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. Over the years, this geographical location and moreover the fighting spirit of its athletes, has propelled Georgia to the elite ranks of the judo countries in the world.

Lying on the banks of the Kura River, Tbilisi, with a population of roughly 1.5 million inhabitants, has a long history and amazing culture, which can be observed throughout the city. But from March 31 to April 2, the only subject of discussion will for sure be the judo competition.

During three days, 252 athletes representing 36 delegations will compete in the 14 weight divisions (7 men, 7 women) at the New Sports Palace (2 Universiteti street, Tbilisi, Georgia).

Official draw of the Tbilisi Grand Prix 2017

During the draw of the competition, an important message was delivered to the coaches as the new set of refereeing rules is still under testing (since Paris Grand Slam and until the World Championships this summer in Budapest).

Thus the IJF experts will focus on ‘progressive judo‘ and more time will be given for the athletes to build positive judo. ‘The rules will be applied strictly but fairly,” said Mr. Neil Adams, IJF refereeing supervisor, who is working together with his two other colleagues, Mr. Florin Daniel Lascau and Mr. Alexander Jatskevich and with all the departments involved in the implementation of the new rules.

A TEAM EFFORT

Mr. Mohammed Meridja, IJF Education and Coaching Director, addressed his welcome speech to all the delegates during the official draw: “Dear Sports Minister, dear President and representatives of the delegations, dear friends. On behalf of our President, Mr. Marius Vizer, I would like to welcome you all here in Tbilisi. Congratulations to the national federation, which always does its upmost to organise one of our main events. I wish good luck to all participants.“

It was then time for the Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs, Mr. Tariel Khechikashvili, to give his speech: “Dear Friends. It is my pleasure to welcome you on the occasion of this fourth edition of the Tbilisi Grand Prix. What the Georgian Judo Federation is doing to get here with the support of our government and of the International Judo Federation is important for the development of judo in our country but also in the region.

“I want to thank the IJF President, Mr. Marius Vizer, for his permanent support for the promotion of judo in Georgia.

“The Tbilisi Grand Prix is among to most popular events in the country and judo is a leading sport for the whole society. I am honoured that the stars of judo are coming here.

“The project of the Georgian Judo Federation will continue in the upcoming years. Together with the IJF and the government we will make sure that judo continues to grow. Already judo has become an example to be followed.

From left to right: Mr. David Kevkhishvili (President GJF) - Mr. Tariel Khechikashvili (Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs) - Mr. Lomer Zhorzholiani (Vice President GJF)

“I am convinced that the atmosphere in the New Sports Arena will be amazing over the next three days and I am looking forward to watching fantastic judo made by incredible champions.

“I want once again to emphasise that we are partners with the IJF and the national federation to develop further more your beautiful sport. I wish you all good luck.

“The development of judo is a real team effort,” summarised Mr. Tariel Khechikashvili.

Mr. David Kevkhishvili, President of the Georgian Judo Federation, said: “I am warmly welcoming you all here in Tbilisi. Thank to the IJF and Mr. Marius Vizer, we have been able to successfully organise this tournament for several years. We have a really good set of staff that is getting more and more professional and they are here to help you. I wish you a nice stay, enjoy our hospitality and good luck.“

The draw was conducted by Mr. Vladimir Barta, IJF Head Sports Director and Mr. Florin Daniel Lascau, IJF Sports Director.

Every day the competition will start at 11:00 local time on two tatamis, while the final block will be held at 17:00 on one tatami.

TV news and info will be available at http://news.ijf.org

  





 

Use #JudoTbilisi2017 to join in with the social media discussion 




Lucie Decosse (FRA), World and Olympic Champion, coach of the French National team, during the draw

THE FACTS

WOMEN

-48kg

Number of athletes: 14
Top seed athletes
CESAR Taciana (GBS): WRL 10 - 5th place at the Baku Grand Slam 2017
CHERNIAK Maryna (UKR): WRL 11 - 5th place at the Baku Grand Slam 2017
CSERNOVICZKI Eva (HUN): WRL 14 - Olympiic bronze medallist London 2012
KOYAMA Stefannie Arissa (BRA): WRL 18 - 1st Baku Grand Slam 2017

-52kg

Number of Athletes: 12
Top seed athletes
MIRANDA Erika (BRA): WRL 2 - 5th Rio 2016 Olympic Games
PUPP Reka (HUN): WRL 22 - 2nd Grand Slam Baku 2017
SKRYPNIK Darya (BLR): WRL 24 - 2nd Prague European Open 2017
VAN SNICK Charline (BEL): WRL 27 - Olympic Bronze Medallist London 2012

-57kg

Number of Athletes: 15
Top seed athletes
SILVA Rafaela (BRA): WRL 5 - Rio 2016 Olympic Champion
ILIEVA Ivelina (BUL): WRL 40 - 2016 European Silver Medallist
ZABLUDINA Irina (RUS): WRL 41 - 1st Pan American Open Lima 2016
GOLOMIDOVA Natalia (RUS): WRL 49 - 3rd U23 European Championships

-63kg

Number of Athletes: 16
Top seed athletes
UNTERWURZACHER Kathrin (AUT): WRL 3 - 1st Grand Slam Tokyo 2016
SILVA Mariana (BRA): WRL 10 - 3rd Grand Slam Abu Dhabi 2016
LESKI Andreja (SLO): WRL 19 - 2nd Baku Grand Slam 2017
GWEND Edwige (ITA): WRL 27 - 3rd Grand Prix Tbilisi 2016
  

-70kg

Number of Athletes: 12
Top seed athletes
RODRIGUEZ Elvismar (VEN): WRL 4 - 2nd Baku Grand Slam 2017
PORTELA Maria (BRA): WRL 8 - 2nd Lima Pan-American Open 2017
GERCSAK Szabina (HUN): WRL 32 - 1st U23 European Championships 2016
BERNHOLM Anna (SWE): WRL 40 - 5th Grand Slam Abu Dhabi 2016

-78kg

Number of Athletes: 9
Top seed athletes
MALONGA Madeleine (FRA): WRL 12 - 2nd Grand Prix Düsseldorf 2017
CAMARA Sama hawa (FRA): WRL 18 - 3rd Grand Slam Paris 2017
STEVENSON Karen (NED): WRL 25 - 5th Grand Prix Düsseldorf 2017
TURCHYN Anastasiya (UKR): WRL 31 - 7th Grand Prix Düsseldorf 2017

+78kg

Number of Athletes: 9
Top seed athletes
IAROMKA Svitlana (UKR): WRL 9 - 3rd Baku Grand Slam 2017
PAKENYTE Santa (LTU): WRL 14 - 5th Baku Grand Slam 2017
ALTHEMAN Maria suelen (BRA): WRL 15 - 2nd Lima Pan-American Open 2017
SLUTSKAYA Maryna (BLR): WRL 18 - 1st Prague European Open 2017

Irakli Tsirekidze, World and Olympic Champion, head coach of the Georgian national team, during the draw


MEN

-60kg

Number of Athletes: 28
Top seed athletes
PAPINASHVILI Amiran (GEO): WRL 5 - 2nd Düsseldorf Grand Prix 2017
TILOVOV Mukhriddin (UZB): WRL 17 - 2nd Baku Grand Slam 2017
BESTAEV Otar (KGZ): WRL 23 - 7th Düsseldorf Grand Prix 2017
OGUZOV Albert (RUS): WRL 27 - 3rd Grand Slam Abu Dhabi 2016

-66kg 

Number of Athletes: 28
Top seed athletes
DOVDON Altansukh (MGL): WRL 5 - 7th Düsseldorf Grand Prix 2017
DAVAADORJ Tumurkhuleg (MGL): WRL 6 - 7th Rio 2016 Olympic Games
SHMAILOV Baruch (ISR): WRL 12 - 3rd Baku Grand Slam 2017
OLEINIC Sergiu (POR): WRL 13 - 5th Düsseldorf Grand Prix 2017
  

-73kg

Number of Athletes: 28
Top seed athletes
MACIAS Tommy (SWE): WRL 8 - 3rd Düsseldorf Grand Prix 2017
BOBOEV Giyosjon (UZB): WRL 9 - 5th Paris Grand Slam 2017
KANIVETS Dmytro (UKR): WRL 15 - 7th Baku Grand Slam 2017
BUTBUL Tohar (ISR): WRL 18 - 3rd Paris Grand Slam 2017

-81kg

Number of Athletes: 24
Top seed athletes
PENALBER Victor (BRA): WRL 10 - 2nd Grand Slam Abu Dhabi 2016
MOLLAEI Saeid (IRI): WRL 13 - 2nd Baku Grand Slam 2017
KHUBETSOV Alan (RUS): WRL 15 - 1st Grand Prix Zagreb 2016
CSOKNYAI Laszlo (HUN): WRL 20 - 2nd Grand Prix Zagreb 2016

-90kg 

Number of Athletes: 22
Top seed athletes
STEWART Max (GBR): WRL 19 - 5th Paris Grand Slam 2017
MARGIANI Ushangi (GEO): WRL 34 - 3rd Baku Grand Slam 2017
GANTULGA Altanbagana (MGL): WRL 41 - 2nd Grand Prix Qingdao 2016
ASSIS Gustavo (BRA): WRL 59 - 1st Lima Pan-American Open 2017

-100kg

Number of Athletes: 22
Top seed athletes
PACEK Martin (SWE): WRL 8 - 1st Grand Slam Tyumen 2016
KURBONOV Soyib (UZB): WRL 15 - 1st Grand Prix Tashkent 2016
BUZACARINI Rafael (BRA): WRL 19 - 2nd Grand Prix Almaty 2016
CORREA Luciano (BRA): WRL 23 - 2nd Grand Slam Abu Dhabi 2016
   

+100kg

Number of Athletes: 13
Top seed athletes
MOURA David (BRA): WRL 15 - 3rd Grand Slam Abu Dhabi 2016
BONDARENKO Stanislav (UKR): WRL 20 - 3rd Baku Grand Slam 2017
MATIASHVILI Levani (GEO): WRL 21 - 3rd Grand Prix Almaty 2016
OKRUASHVILI Adam (GEO): WRL 23 - 1st Grand Prix Almaty 2016


COMPETITION PROGRAMME
Friday
11:00 Preliminaries on two mats
17:00 Final block on one mat

Women: -48kg, -52kg, -57kg 
Men: -60kg, -66kg 

Saturday
11:00 Preliminaries on two mats
17:00 Final block on one mat

Women: -63kg, -70kg
Men: -73kg, -81kg

Sunday
11:00 Preliminaries on two mats
17:00 Final block on one mat

Women: -78kg, +78kg
Men: -90kg, -100kg, +100kg

Location:  New Sports Arena (2 Universiteti str, Tbilisi, Georgia)

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