For the Judo family, the IJF MASTERS is an absolute highlight of the season: on the one hand, because quality counts before quantity. Only the best 36 per weight class are eligible to compete. No fewer than 14 Olympic champions and 36 world champions have been named in Budapest. The high status of the Masters is also due to the fact that there are up to 1,800 world ranking points up for grabs. Non-experts may not know what to make of the term Judo Masters.
Local organiser László TOTH, President of the Hungarian Judo Federation and President of the European Judo Union, felt this several times in the run-up to the prestigious event: “It was much more difficult to attract sponsors for the Masters than, for example, for the World Championships in 2017 and 2022. Most people associate the term Masters with veterans competitions. When I tell them that there are 36 world champions and 14 Olympic champions on the mat, many can’t believe it.”
The most important facts and figures about the second most important tournament of the year:
- A total of 419 judoka from 59 nations are competing – including 14 Olympic champions, 36 world champions and 12 current world number one (out of 14 weight classes).
- Victory earns 1,800 world ranking points (world championship title: 2000), second place 1,260 and third place 900. The tournament counts 100 per cent towards the Olympic qualification for Paris.
- The largest delegations are France (25 athletes), Hungary (22), Japan, Uzbekistan (20 each), Germany and the Netherlands (18 each).
- There are a total of six Europeans defending her Masters title from Jerusalem (mid-December 2022) in Budapest.
- Olympic champion Distria Krasniqi (KOS/-52) is considered a “Masters specialist” with a total of four wins (2018, 2019, 2021, 2022).
- Her Imperial Highness Princess Tomohia of Japan heads the list of guests of honour.
Author: EJU Media