Monday, April 10, 2017

Antalya Grand Prix 2017, Turkey - Preview

After four successful editions of the Turkish Grand Prix held in Samsun on Turkey's northern coast, the event moved to the city of Antalya in the south of the country, on the shores of the Mediterranean sea. The official draw took place today in the Rixos hotel, just a few steps away from the Antalya Arena Spor Salonu (Meltem, 2. Cd. 6 P, 07030 Muratpaşa / Antalya) which will host the athletes throughout the weekend.

The doors of the Antalya Arena Spor Salonu are ready to be open for the first time
on the occasion of an event of such an international scale tomorrow morning at 11:00 am local time

Over the years, Antalya has become the tourist capital of the Turkish Mediterranean coast, nicknamed the 'Turkish Riviera'. It is considered one of the most popular seaside resorts in the world with nearly 12 million tourists every year.

The old town of Antalya, Kaleici, stretches along a steep cliff below which one can discover an ancient port, transformed into a modern marina. With more than 2.3 million inhabitants, Antalya is an important urban center and since its foundation in 150 BC., the city has always been inhabited.

The Antalya Arena Spor Salonu is located a few minutes away from the old city (picture above)


The IJF President, Mr. Marius Vizer, who will be present during the weekend in Turkey, delivered a message to all the delegations: “The IJF World Judo Tour is now in Turkey in its newest location as Antalya joins the global list of host cities.

Sunny Antalya welcomes the 2017 edition of the Turkish Grand Prix

The three-day Grand Prix is the fifth event of the season and will command the interest of the city and the country as Turkey have shown great support to our sport and IJF initiatives. I believe that the Turkish Judo Federation will provide first-class hospitality and a world-class competition.

I wish good luck to everyone involved in the organisation and delivery of the competition. I send my best wishes to all judoka and coaches. I am confident that you will show our sport in a positive light and will enjoy your experience in Turkey.


Mr. Sezer Huysuz, is the new happy president of the Turkish Judo Federation. Elected in October 2016, he will, for the first time, officiate as the leader of Turkish Judo. A former -73kg athlete, Sezer Huysuz competed at the European and World Championships and participated two times in the Olympic Games. He was also a multiple Turkish national champion.

From left to right: Mr. Mehmet Yimaz (Competition Manager) - Mr. Sezer Huysuz (President TJF)
and Mr. Murat Sahin (Vice-President TJF) during the draw

Mr. Sezer Huysuz said: “The Grand Prix is a major event for the Turkish Judo Federation and Turkish sport. Such an event increases the value of our sport since it is seen as a preparation for Tokyo 2020 and it gives the athletes opportunities to collect points for the World Ranking List.

Mr. Sezer Huysuz (first on the left of the picture) and Turkish athletes live on TV today

The Grand Prix is taking place in Antalya, one of the most favorite touristic destinations in Turkey and in the world. We are expecting great judo. Moreover, being broadcasted live on TRT 3 over the weekend, the Grand Prix will help us to develop even further judo in our country.

Taking part in this event, which I attended as an athlete before and as president now, is the source of honor and pride for me.

From left to right: Mr. Jan Snijders (Head Refereeing director),
Mr. Mohamed Meridja (Education and Coaching Director) and Mr. Vladimir Barta (Head Sport Director)
during the draw

Mr. Mohamed Meridja, IJF Education and coaching director welcomed the 34 heads of delegation, representing 253 athletes (156 men, 97 women), in the name of the IJF President, Mr. Marius Vizer. The technical aspect of the draw was led by Mr. Vladimir Barta, IJF Head Sport Director, assisted by Mr. Daniel Lascau, IJF Sport Director. Mr. Barta said: “It is a real pleasure to see that a former top athlete, like Mr. Sezer Huysuz, has now become a top leader of an important judo federation.“ Before the end of the draw, Mr. Jan Snijders, IJF Head Refereeing Director, explained with details what are the important criteria that the referees and the experts are going to look at during the weekend, the main goal being to promote ‘positive judo‘.

Final preparation is under way at the Antalya Arena Spor Salonu
a few hours prior to the kick off of the Antalya Grand Prix



To raise awareness of the potential of sport to help for development and peace, 6 April was declared as the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP) by the UN General Assembly. The adoption of this Day signifies the increasing recognition by the United Nations of the positive influence that sport can have on the advancement of human rights, and social and economic development.

On the occasion of the 2017 International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP) on 6 April, the United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace (UNOSDP) launched the digital campaign #WePlayTogether to encourage organizations and individuals who support or carry out sport for development and peace activities to partake in the commemoration of the IDSDP. The campaign invites participants to share a picture on social media that represents for them the “power of sport to promote peace, unity and inclusion”.

Among the countries present on the image are: Afghanistan (AFG) - Argentina (ARG) - Australia (AUS) - Austria (AUS) - Azerbaijan (AZE) - Bosnia-Herzegovina (BIH) - China (CHN) - Croatia (CRO) - Czech Republic (CZE) - Great Britain (GBR) - Georgia (GEO) - Hungary (HUN) - Israel (ISR) - Kazakhstan (KAZ) - Kyrgyzstan (KGZ) - Kosovo (KOS) - Lithuania (LTU) - Moldova (MDA) - Mongolia (MGL) - Portugal (POR) - Romania (ROU) - Russia (RUS) - Slovenia (SLO) - Serbia (SRB) - Tajikistan (TJK) - Turkmenistan (TKM) - Chinese Taipei (TPE) - Turkey (TUR) - United Arab Emirates (UAE) - Ukraine (UKR) - Uzbekistan (UZB) - France (FRA) - Venezuela (VEN) - Algeria (ALG) - Netherlands (NED) - Germany (GER) - India (IND) - Italy (ITA) - Malta (MLT) - Canada (CAN) - Gabon (GAB) - Korea (KOR) - United States of America (USA) - Japan (JPN) - Morocco (MAR) - Spain (ESP) - Belgium (BEL)...

The international judo community celebrated today the IDSDP on the occasion of the official draw of the Antalya Grand Prix. The IJF is very active in building a better society through its Judo for Peace and Judo for Children programs. Last year, the IJF was awarded with the “Creative Sports Award” for its project in the Syrian Refugee Camps in Kilis.

The young Syrian refugees celebrating the International Day of Sport for Development
and Peace in Kilis, Turkey

Under the supervision of the International Judo Federation and led by Turkish Judo Federation, the social project, initiated for Syrian children having fled war to hold on to life in Öncüpınar container city in Kilis, was deemed worthy of the “Creative Sports Award” by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Creative Sports Awards. The president of the Turkish Federation, Mr. Sezer Huysuz said: “We will not confine ourselves to this project. By developing it further, we will carry out not only in Kilis but also in other container cities. Our efforts on this matter keep going with the contributions of a professional team.”

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