15 June 2024


Porec EJU OTC 2024


The Porec EJU OTC is an annual celebration in the EJU calendar, bringing together hundreds of athletes from around the world for randori, with the highlight arguably the weather!

Aside from the beautiful surroundings and the sound of water lapping the shore, as you enter the Sportshall on the Plava Laguna resort, it’s the sound of feet sweeping the tatami, bodies being thrown and coaches assisting their athletes.

In this 2024 edition, 706 athletes and 194 staff were inscribed in the OTC, with more joining almost on a daily basis. One of those additions not on the original list is Lasha BEKAURI of Georgia, the current -90kg Olympic Champion. Bekauri isn’t however the only athlete donning the golden back patch. Other Olympic Champions included Distria KRASNIQI (KOS), Lukas KRPALEK (CZE), and one athlete from further afield, ABE Uta (JPN).

Lasha BEKAURI (GEO) and Hidayat HEYDAROV (AZE) © Carlos Ferreira

We also had some fresh red back patches in the case of Azerbaijan duo; Hidayat HEYDAROV and Zelim KOTSOIEV. The Italian team arrived for part two of the camp, with new World Champion, Odette GIUFFRIDA, and Georgia’s youngest World Champion, Giorgi SARDALASHVILI. Alex BOLOGA (ROU) was another red back patch on the training camp tatami, however his was slightly different, also sporting a red circle to demonstrate he is a VI athlete, one who has been world ranked number one since 2019. Find out more about Alex’s journey to the Paralympic Games in Paris here. Former World and Olympic Champions were present, Teddy RINER (FRA) at the forefront and Matthias CASSE (BEL).

Along with the Japanese attendance, there were teams from Uzbekistan with former World Champions, Davlat BOBONOV and Muzzafarbek TUROBOYEV, WRL #1, Diyora KELDIYOROVA and heavyweight threat, Alisher YUSUPOV and Kazakhstan with the -48kg duo Abiba ABUZHAKYNOVA and Gailya TYNBAYEVA.

Alongside the OTC, the Cadet Training Camp is also in full effect with 286 and 72 staff.


Author: Thea Cowen