At the third international judo tournament named after Jigoro Kano, six teams participated under the framework of the Eastern Economic Forum, Vladivostok. Beside the traditional countries Russia, Japan, South Korea, Mongolia and China there was also and for the first time the youth team of India on the tatami.
Under the patronage of the Russian Federation President and IJF Honarary President Mr. Vladimir Putin and the Prime Minister of Japan Mr. Shinzo Abe the Annual International Vladivostok Jigoro Kano Cadet Judo Tournament was joined by President of Mongolia, Mr. Battulga Khaltmaa, the Prime Minister of India Mr. Narendra Modi and IJF President Mr. Marius L. Vizer.
The four-day event was also attended by IJF Vice President and EJU President Sergey Soloveychik, All Japan Judo Federation and Japanese Olympic Committee President Yamashita Yasuhiro, Russian Judo Federation President Vasily Anisimov and IJF Development Manager Arkady Rotenburg.
The competition is an annual feature at the Eastern Economic Forum which want to further develop business relations between Asian countries.
Olympic champion and IJF Hall of Famer Ezio Gamba noted the importance of the Jigoro Kano competition:
Russia’s Jigoro Kano tournament will provide an opportunity to compete in team competitions for athletes of those weight categories that are not among the official listings in the mixed team event and this is a very important point.
Medals were won in three types of programs and the absolute winners in the overall standings were determined by the total points earned in these three events.
Five teams participated in the tournament of the girls’ teams, who fought on a round-robin system. The winner in this type of program was the team of Mongolia, having defeated the girls from South Korea in the final. The Russian team in the round-robin tournament won a fundamental victory over the Japanese team and eventually shared the third place with it. The mentor of the Russian national team Flora Mkhitaryan said:
I think that a victory over Japan will give girls confidence in anticipation of the Cadet World Championships in Kazakhstan in September. This is a really significant result. All the girls fought, showed themselves. We have the opportunity to work out the identified shortcomings so as not to repeat such mistakes in the future. There are no victories without defeats. We know what to work on, and we will be better next time.
In the mixed team tournament event, five teams also battled for awards. The finals featured the national teams of Russia and Japan. The Japanese won the highest awards of the Olympic format tournament. Athletes from South Korea and Mongolia became bronze medalists.
The head of the Olympic Committee of Japan, Olympic champion and AJJF President Yamashita Yasuhiro handed out special prizes to the best fighters of the tournament – the representative of Mongolia, Gerelzaya and the judoka from Russia, Tsechoyev.
In the match for “gold” participants were representatives of Mongolia and Russia. The final match in this type of program took place in the presence of the heads of Russia, Japan, Mongolia and India. The price of “gold” was high because it could play a decisive role in determining the absolute winner of the Kano tournament. The Russians won five meetings in a row. This “gold” helped them to score enough points in the overall standings to equal the rivals from Mongolia and share first place with them. The third place in the end was taken by the Japanese team.
At the end of the tournament, the Russian Federation President Mr. Vladimir Putin said:
Thanks to the International Judo Federation and, of course, to my colleagues, heads of state and government, who take the time to come here and enjoy this wonderful sport. Best wishes to the winning athletes. This is a youth tournament, and the fact that at this age boys and girls achieve results is very good. But sports in general and judo in particular have been proven many times – you can’t stand still if you want to achieve real, big victories. Therefore, dear children, dear girls, I want to wish you success in sports and on your life path. Diligence and talent will open you a wonderful road to the future, and sports will always accompany you and help you in any of your endeavors.