5 February 2023


Grand Slam Paris


It’s been a pretty busy weekend for László TOTH, President of the European Judo Union, as well as the Vice Presidents Hrvoje LINDI, Sergei ASCHWANDEN and General Secretary Martin POIGER. Toth emphasised,

Paris is without doubt the best Judo event in the world and it’s great, the spectators are the best. A crowd of 12.000 judo lovers, there is no other place, even not Tokyo, where the final block is such an emotional affair, it was one more time a perfect show.

13 out of 14 gold medals went to Europe. Host France won the medal table the first time in ten years (with 11 medals – 4 x gold, 3 x silver, 4 x bronze). 11 European countries secured at least one medal. It’s great news, but we may not expect such a sweep, when we come back for the Olympic Games. We have to admit, that some of the Asian nations, especially Team Japan, did not bring their top-shots.

Next week EJU President László Toth will be travelling for the European Open to Sofia (BUL).

The win of French hero Teddy RINER in the last Sunday final was a perfect ending to a perfect judo weekend.

Teddy makes the difference, it’s good news, that he is back on track 18 months before the Summer Olympics in Paris. He for sure will be one of the top-attractions of the Games. Teddy appearing in the +100 Gold medal bout, Daria BILODID fighting for 3rd place against, Telma MONTEIRO and the -52 kg final between Distria KRASNIQI and Hungarian PUPP Reka – those were my personal highlights of the weekend.

The weekend agenda of the EJU President and his team included dozens of meetings, e.g. with Dutch, German and Georgian delegations.

Moreover we had a long meeting with French JF President Stéphane NOMIS and his team to speak about this year’s European Championships in Montpellier.

Most of the nations stay for the Olympic Training Camp. So we will stay for an additional day too for further meetings.

Next stop: Sofia, where the European Open take place on the upcoming weekend.


Author: Wolfgang Eichler