GUANGZOU MASTER 2018 IN CHINA- Stars align for best-of-the-best season finale

The stars of the IJF World Judo Tour have descended on Guangzhou, China, for the final event of the season as the world’s best-ranked judoka will grace the tatami one more time in 2018 as they bid to be crowned World Judo Masters champion. The traditional season-ending spectacular, which is being held in China for the first time, is reserved only for the world’s finest judoka with invitations offered to the top-16 ranked judoka in each of judo’s 14 weight categories. Epic matches and dream clashes are guaranteed as champions go up against champions in this once-a-year showpiece which is the second biggest event of the season after the World Judo Championships.

The Masters offers 1800 World Ranking List points for gold, 1260 for silver and 900 for bronze which ensures a dramatic shake-up to the rankings to close out the year at this crucial stage of the qualification process for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. China’s inaugural edition of the two-day event will offer $300,000 in prize money which will be spilt amongst the medallists. China opened the Tokyo 2020 qualification campaign with its annual Hohhot Grand Prix in May and now the season will come to a must-see conclusion in a country that is experiencing a judo boom.

All the delegations, officials and media gathered on Friday afternoon for the draw at the Baiyun International Convention Centre where it was revealed that 235 judoka would compete from 53 nations. Rio 2016 Olympic champions Paula PARETO (ARG), Rafaela SILVA (BRA), Tina TRSTENJAK (SLO) and Khasan KHALMURZAEV (RUS) will all be in action. Eight of the 14 world champions from Baku 2018 will go for gold as YOSHIDA Tsukasa (JPN), Clarisse AGBEGNENOU (FRA), HAMADA Shori (JPN), AN Changrim (KOR), Saeid MOLLAEI (IRI), Nikoloz SHERAZADISHVILI (ESP), CHO Guham (KOR) and Guram TUSHISHVILI (GEO) are all set for the 2018 finale. The official draw was opened by IJF Head Sport Director Mr. Vladimir BARTA (below - centre).

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, it’s a pleasure to see you all here in Guangzhou, China, for the season-ending World Judo Masters. “We have a world-class entry this weekend including four current Olympic champions and eight world champions from Baku. “On behalf of the IJF President Mr. Marius VIZER I would like to wish you all a successful event and a happy holiday season and New Year.”

Mr. XIAN Dongmei (above - centre), China Judo Association President, said: “Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon. It is my great honour to be here to greet you all in the great city of Guangzhou. I welcome all coaches and all guests here to China. The World Judo Masters is the second biggest event of the season and will be an important event counting towards Olympic qualification for Tokyo 2020. “I would like to thank the IJF for their assistance and support to helping the CJA achieve our goals. I thank all sectors of the community for their support for this event. The 2018 World Judo Masters will be officially opened on Saturday and the top 16-ranked judoka will show the audience the highest level of judo. “I wish all the athletes great results and this is the first time for this beautiful city of Guangzhou to host an IJF event and this shows the integration of sports culture here and especially for judo. The CJA hopes to take this opportunity to raise the sport to a new level here and finally I would like to express my sincere gratitude to everyone here, thank you.”

Watch both days of #JudoMasters2018 live and free on the IJF website.  


Saturday 15 December 

Preliminary rounds - 11:00 Opening ceremony - 16:00

Final Block - 17:00

Sunday 16 December

Preliminary rounds - 11:30

Final Block - 17:00

Venue: Guangzhou Arena 

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