Heidelberg is ready for action this weekend with the first IBSA Grand Prix of the year, where athletes can gain double points towards Paris 2024 Paralympic Games. The location is not new to our judo family as this city has been organising VI events for over two decades. In fact, at the beginning of their journey, they ran an event for both intellectually, and visually impaired judoka. However, as the number of entries within the VI section began to grow, the decision was made to run the VI event on its own. Until now, the maximum entry was around 150 judoka. For this year, there are almost 250 judoka heading to this beautiful town by the Neckar River. It is the first time the event is labelled as a Grand Prix.
The German Judo community made a lot of effort for developing blind/visually impaired judo, so it was time to organize a high level worldwide judo event. We have three Grand Prix left for this year. The stakes are high for everyone as the competitions add double points to the WRL. So participation is important for everyone.
– explains IBSA Judo Chairman and IJF Sport Commissioner, Mr TARDOS Janos.
Heidelberg is a perfect location with being only 80km away from Europe’s 3rd largest airport, Frankfurt. The President of the German Disabled Sports Association e.V. and National Paralympic Committee, Mr Friedhelm Julius BEUCHER proudly sends his warmest wishes to all;
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a great honour and pleasure for me to welcome you all to the 2024 IBSA Judo Grand Prix in Heidelberg. As President of the German Disabled Sports Association, I am proud to host this important Para sporting event. For the athletes it is one of the last opportunities to qualify for the Paralympic Games 2024 in Paris.
The IBSA Judo Grand Prix brings together athletes from all over the world. They demonstrate their skills and measure themselves against the best in their class. Para sport has a long tradition in Germany, and we are passionate about promoting inclusion and integration of people with disabilities through sport.
The IBSA Judo Grand Prix is another step in this direction and a very crucial one on the #Road to Paris. Now it’s time to pursue dreams! Qualifying for the Paralympic Games in Paris 2024 is the ultimate goal of our athletes. I would like to encourage all participants to give their best, to fight fairly and to live the values of sport.
I would like to thank all the organizers, sponsors, volunteers, and supporters who have made this tournament possible. Your commitment and passion for Para sports are admirable and indispensable. Let us enjoy this tournament together and support the athletes on their way to the Paralympic Games in Paris 2024. I wish all participants the best of luck and unforgettable moments in Heidelberg.
With sporty greetings,
Prior to the event, or rather as part of it, there will be an eye classification taking place. The host nation aims to tackle the weekend with 10 strong judoka, three of which are confirmed, six are due for a review and there is also a newcomer, Judith KEIL (J1 -70kg). Below, the provisional schedule for the event. The final schedule is subject to classification outcome and therefore number of participants.
Author: Szandra Szogedi