GYÖR - This past weekend, Jan. 20 and 21, referees, coaches and experts from the International Judo Federation met in Györ, Hungary, to discuss technique and tactics to ensure that everyone is on the same page for the Olympic season now beginning. Judo Belgium had five officials present, Heather Loontjes, Val Vanneste and Koen Sleeckx for Judo Vlaanderen and Henri Nicolas Renders and Damien Bomboir for Judo Wallonie-Bruxelles.
The competition rules were of course the focus of this seminar and the IJF Referee Committee detailed all the rules that will be applied in the coming months. To be clear, there are no changes because with only a few months to go prior to Paris 2024, it is not possible to make any changes. So, everything remains in line with what was observed in 2023 and since Tokyo 2021.
"We have to protect the authenticity of the sport, our tradition and our heritage, but at the same time we have to adapt to the life and work of today and that is the big thing. We must preserve our complex sport but also simplify it so that parents and children can understand what we are doing here," said IJF Head Referee Director, Daniel Lascau. "A lot has changed and there are always potential adjustments in the future, so these seminars are crucial for referees, coaches and leaders alike to prepare athletes in the best way possible."
During the two days, important information about sports and education was also shared with all participants.
Vladimir Barta, sports director of the IJF, gave an overview of the sports calendar for the World Championships in Abu Dhabi, which will take place over six days (May 19-24) in the Emirates capital. He also clarified the qualification deadlines for the event. This was followed by important information about Olympic qualification and the Games.
Mohammed Meridja, IJF Education and Coaching Director, explained the regulations regarding the Olympic judogi, gave information about the Olympic solidarity program and the IJF Master Coach License.
In short, an intensive weekend that allowed all present to collaborate and share experiences, while in a few days with the Grand Prix in Portugal it is already time to focus on the competitions, ranking points, and the list of Olympic qualifiers.