Judo Sport

IJF boss wants more judokas at Youth Olympics

From DIANA MUTAKAFIMBO in Nanjing, China
INTERNATIONAL Judo Federation (IJF) president Marius Vizer has called for an increase in the quota at the Youth Olympic Games to accommodate more judokas.
Zambian judoka Nokutula Banda competed in the 63kg category instead of 57kg weight category after the two categories were combined.
Vizer, who is also SportAccord president, was delighted with the level of competition displayed by young judokas in Nanjing.
SportAccord is the umbrella organisation for Olympic and non-Olympic international federations.
Vizer said yesterday that the level of competition at the Youth Olympic Games shows the sport has potential to grow.
“I am happy with the level of competition. It is a good sign for the future. We have seen here in Nanjing some of the future world and Olympic medallists,” he said.
Vizer believes a higher quota of judokas at the Youth Games will provide stiff competition, which will not only benefit the sport but the entire tournament.
A total of 103 judokas from 26 countries across eight weight categories are taking part at the Youth Olympics.
“With the quota allocated to judo, we cannot have all weight categories represented and even with the eight weight classes that are present, it’s difficult to determine who can take part or not. If this number is raised, the competition level will increase and this will not only be for the benefit of judo but the Youth Games [as well],” Vizer said.
After crashing out of the individual competition, Banda took part in the mixed international team event yesterday and was part of the Van de Walle squad.
Her team lost in the preliminaries.

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