16 May 2024


IBSA Judo Grand Prix Tbilisi 2024


The Paris 2024 Paralympics qualification is about to come to an end as over 200 judoka from 48 countries are on their final trip to compete at the IBSA Grand Prix Tbilisi 2024. As per protocols, the eye classifications have been completed and with having 13 IBSA Paralympic ranking leaders on site certainly adds to the value, the next few days the focus will really be about those who are on the border of qualification.

J1 Women 

Germany’s and with that Europe’s hopes are likely to increase with a good day in the -48kg category via Anna Tabea Muller and in the -57kg category by Maria Manzanero Ruiz (ESP), though the Spaniard judoka would require winning the event. There are other judoka in the same boat in the -70kg category, precisely, Matilde Lauria (ITA) and Nicolina Pernheim Goodrich (SWE). 

J1 Men 

Europe’s already stout dominance in the -73kg category could be topped if Gokce Yavuz (TUR) was to win the event and chance himself for a spot to Paris. Same goes for Valerio Romano Teodori (ITA) in the -90kg category. The Italian is chasing after a spot from Bauyrzhan Arstanbekov (KAZ) who’s name does not appear on the entry list. 

J2 Women 

Turkiye’s Cahide Eke (TUR) will seek to steal the final place from Kokila (IND) in the -48kg category while Ramona Brussig (GER) will be looking to do just that with Wang Jianan (CHN) in the weight category above. Kirsten Taylor (GBR/+70kg), likewise, has ‘must medal’ on her to-do list over the weekend to be eligible to join the Paris crew as the only British female Paralympic judoka. 

J2 Men 

There is a lot of focus on Europe in this division especially on Ukraine’s Rufat Mahomedov who is presently 103 points away from fetching the last spot from Sergio Ibanez Banon (ESP) in the -73kg category. Meanwhile, Daniel Rafael Goral (GER) is 102 points away from his Paris dreams in the -90kg category. There are three European judoka currently in qualifying position in this weight class. Can Goral make it four? A note worth making: a bronze medal is worthy of 120 points. The +90kg left with British dominance as both, Christopher Skelley and Jack Hodgson are in for Paris spot. Tbilisi will allow the two of them to prove who is more deserving of that precious plane ticket.  

To elevate an already pressuring situation, the French team arrived with their A-team to Tbilisi, including a winner of multiple IBSA world titles Helios Latchoumanaya (J2/-90kg). Whilst, in most cases, their worry is not to qualify, the trouble for them arriving in Georgia is the potential upset they can cause for the rest of those who anxiously need to collect qualifying points. 

The Tbilisi Olympic Palace is about to create a serious dose of mixed memories for the IBSA squad. Nevertheless, we will be guaranteed top class judo from all attendees. For the last and final time: Hajime!

Author: Szandra Szogedi