Spectators and athletes alike will be delighted about the extension of the 50th edition of the Paris Grand Slam 2024. This world-class event attracts judoka in their droves, with the goal of many to achieve glory in the AccorHotels Arena, formerly and perhaps better known as ‘The Bercy’. Of course, this wasn’t the birth place of this event, the ‘Tournoi de Paris’ dates back to 1971 in the Stade Pierre-de-Coubertin.
In 2023, there were 520 athletes from 82 nations inscribed for the tremendous opening Grand Slam of the season, however because it was held over two days, the first contenders were stepping on the tatami at 08:00. Although this year it will be three days, there is of course piqued interest from those looking for qualification and ranking points, amounting to 667 athletes from an impressive 111 nations. Whilst some look for their first Paris title, we will have the likes of home favourites Audrey TCHEUMEO (-78kg) and Clarisse AGBEGNENOU (-63kg) looking for their seventh to match World and Olympic Champion, Lucie DECOSSE, who stole the show in 2001, ’04, ’06, ’08, ’09, ’10 and ’11.
Not only is this a huge pro for those competing between the 2nd and 4th of February, but judo fans will be ecstatic that they have an extra day in France’s capital city of Paris, which in a matter of months will play host to the ultimate event; the Olympic Games. Already the excitement is elevated in Paris, with locations donning the Olympic rings, countdowns and the like, but now one of their most popular and beloved sports, helps to build the tension.
President of the International Judo Federation, Mr Marius VIZER is greatly anticipating the famed event,
Paris is always a catalyst, producing the highest level of judo, the biggest surprises and a showcase of multi-generational judo that tells all young judoka where to aim if they want to be the best in the years to come. The Paris Grand Slam is inspiration, education and history and we are so proud of both its presence and its legacy.
With the 2024 Olympic Games just around the corner and the chance to practise some of the logistics, every arrival in Paris comes with extra intensity and anticipation. This Olympic qualification period is just a few months shy of its conclusion and that also brings an extra dimension to the Bercy.
Mirroring President Vizer’s sentiments is the President of the French Judo Federation, Mr Stephane NOMIS,
This 50th edition of the Paris Grand Slam takes on exceptional significance as we prepare to host the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games. As the host nation, France is at the heart of an exciting period for judo, offering an unrivalled opportunity for our national athletes to demonstrate their excellence in front of the whole world, at home. The Paris Grand Slam thus becomes a crucial stage in the preparation of our judoka for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The Paris Grand Slam is much more than just a tournament; it embodies the spirit of judo, its ethics and its relentless quest for perfection. I would like to express my gratitude to all those who have contributed to the continued success of this event, from the determined athletes to the dedicated volunteers, our partners and the passionate fans who create a unique atmosphere at every edition of the Paris Grand Slam. I would like also to thank the International Judo Federation and its President Mr Marius Vizer for the organisation of this unique tournament.
With the Grand Slam commencing on the 2nd of February, you will not want to miss the live draw at 14:00 on the 1st, deciding the fate of the 672 entries, head over to JudoTV.com.
Author: Thea Cowen