The tour is back in Austria!
At the beginning of 2022 we celebrated Portugal opening the year with their Grand Prix event, their first on the IJF World Tour, and now we can look forward to the tour coming back to Austria, adding yet another European location to the roster.
As the return will take place in Linz, the Upper Austria State Councillor, Markus ACHLEITNER and Austrian Judo President, also EJU General Secretary, Dr Martin POIGER were delighted with the commitment to be a part of the IJF World Tour for the following four years. Achleitner is convinced that this will be a terrific event for the athletes as well as the area,
We want to bring major sporting events sustainably to the sports state of Upper Austria – we have also succeeded here. It is a great opportunity to carry positive sporting and tourist images of Upper Austria all over the world. Upper Austria will be a usual warm host.
The Grand Prix event will take place from the 25th to 27th of May in the Linz TipsArena, following the World Championships in Doha which also means that in 2023 and 2024, the event is also part of the Olympic qualification for the summer games in Paris.
As we already know, Austria has remained one of the top organisers for events, whether it be the previous World Cup which was held between 1980 and 2006, the European Open in Oberwart for the past 12 years or the world-renowned training camp in Mittersill. Poiger has witnessed the professionalism and strength of their federation for many years and can now boast,
We will be able to welcome a total of more than 800 people to the tournament, expecting more than 2,000 overnight stays in Linz. As organisers of European tour events in Oberwart, we have made a very good name for ourselves, but it was clear from the beginning that we needed a new venue for the IJF World Tour. Linz is the absolute desired solution for us. Our national team trains on the Gugl, our national coaches mostly live in Linz. What we were still missing was a World Tour event.
There has been great attention given to Austrian Judo since the appointment of 2004 Olympic champion and current Head National Coach, Yvonne SNIR-BÖNISCH. It was an important step for women in judo which brought focus on the team and further celebration following the Olympic Games in Tokyo when two medals were taken from both the men and womens teams. Snir-Bönisch noted that it isn’t just about their top athletes but will be an important step for their younger judoka as well,
At a home tournament, we can also test our offspring at world tour level, we are entitled to four starting places per weight class. Our top aces such as Michaela POLLERES and Shamil BORCHASHVILI will hopefully be able to collect as many world ranking and Olympic qualifying points as possible in front of a domestic audience and of course we are happy if top international stars can also be seen here.
Upper Austrian State Association President Manfred REISINGER expects a spectator rush,
We will certainly be able to welcome thousands of fans to Linz. Upper Austria is not considered a judo stronghold for nothing, with traditional associations such as Fairdrive Leonding, UJZ Mühlviertel, JT Salzkammergut or Multikraft Wels.
Author: Thea Cowen