For the first time in the EUSA history, Para Judo will be part of the official program at EUG2020 in Belgrade, this summer between July 12th and July 25th, in which more than 6.000 athletes in 21 sports will be competeing for medals.
Para Judo is a very popular sport for athletes with a visual impairment. It has been featured in all five editions of the IBSA World Championships and Games and has been a Paralympic sport since the Seoul ’88 games in men’s category, while women’s judo joined at Athens 2004. The sport is governed by the International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA).
Judokas are split into weight categories while all sight classes – B1, B2 and B3 – compete together. The sport has proven to be very popular among deafblind athletes.
Over the last four years, the number of international athletes has increased rapidly. According to the current World Ranking List, there are more than 500 athletes from 4 continents and almost 50 countries.
At the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, the 132 athletes competed in 13 medal events according to the quota (7 male and 6 female weight categories).
There were athletes from 36 countries (Africa 1 country/3 judokas, Pan-America 9/37, Asia 10/42, Europe 16/47). At Rio 2016 Paraolympics, 18 countries won the medals. In total, 24 blind judokas took part and won five medals. The most of the athletes came from Brazil, Japan, Uzbekistan and Ukraine.
At the 5th IBSA Games in Seoul, Korea, in May 2015, thirty-nine countries participated in the judo competitions. In total 224 judokas competed for the medals. About 20% of all competitors are B1 (totally blind) athletes.
The most important rule difference between Paralympic and IJF rules is the start of the match. The referee claps once to signal the athletes to move forward until contact is made. At this point athletes grip each other’s uniforms (judogi). After gripping (athletes know the position of the opponent) arms are lowered to the sides, and the athletes wait for the referee’s starting signal. Competitors may not move their feet until the contact is made with the opponent. Another important rule difference is the use of verbal signals and touches in order to communicate commands and decisions of the officials.
WELCOME TO THE LAND OF JUDO CHAMPIONS
Serbia is very well known as a sports country. As a land of one of the greatest athlete of all-time, Novak Djokovic, has an amazing tradition in many sports like basketball, volleyball, handball, water polo, but also in other individual sports.
The two best Serbian judokas, Nemanja Majdov and Aleksandar Kukolj, are also a part of the golden Serbian sports story. Majdov was World Judo Champion in 2017, while Kukolj won the European gold in 2019.
Para Judo event at EUG 2020 is the perfect opportunity for some new champions…