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IJF Preview: Tashkent Grand Slam

judo | 2021-03-04

The 2021 Tashkent Grand Slam is this weekend! Team USA is currently in quarantine awaiting the draw to continue to earn points towards the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo. While you will see no fans in the stands and masks worn by officials and coaches, you will see some of the highest level judo in the world step up and compete! 

According to IJF.org, there are 8 things to look out for:

  1. Reigning World Champion Abe Uta from JPN is making a return to the World Judo Tour after the last few months off in the Women's -52kg division
  2. A possible rematch between Saeid Mollaei of MGL and home player Sharofiddin Boltaboev UZB - they had an amazing stand off in Tel-Aviv, will they meet again? 
  3. Serbia is still looking to earn their spot at -48kg in the 2021 Olympics! 
  4. Heavyweight Kokoro Kageura was able to overcome Teddy Riner at the 2020 Paris Grand Slam, will he continue to dominate the division? 
  5. Will Ilias Illiadis continue to lead Team UZB to success and the medal stands? In Tel Aviv they earned a gold medal, can their success continue? 
  6. Miklos Ungvari is 40 years old and looking for his fifth Olympic qualification, which would be an amazing achievement for the Hungarian judoka. 
  7. While eyes are on Toyko 2020, we will see a ton of up and coming athletes to get their feet wet in international competition. Check out teams from Ukraine, Italy, Russia and Finland.
  8. Team JPN has 11 athletes competing, how will they fair for medals this event? 

Team USA will be sending 10 athletes to compete. Most looking to lock in their spots for the 2021 Olympics or at least make some headway to be able to make the team this Summer. 

Be sure to log on to watch and support Team USA Judo!

The tournament begins Thursday, March 4th!