The third IJF event for 2021 has come to an end. With over 500 competitors from 71 different countries, it was a nice sight to see in terms of "normal". Plus there was a lot of exciting judo!
"In just a few weeks, the world circuit will stop in Tbilisi, Georgia, before Antalya in Turkey and Kazan in Russia and at the beginning of June the International Judo Federation will organise its world championship in Budapest, Hungary. If all eyes are already on the Tokyo Games, the events of the World Judo Tour, by the summer, will attract the attention of judo fans from every continent." - International Judo Federation
Japan dominated the Tashkent Grand Slam with all 11 athletes earning medals. Nine golds, one silver & one bronze for Team JPN. Absolutely astounding and possibly expected if you've been following the team but at times felt as if they were still finding their flow/rhythym which can be expected given the circumstances. Host country Uzbekistan was unable to climb to the top of the podium but they earned two silvers and four bronzes the Uzbekistan Judo Team can be satisfied with this grand slam.
Team USA had some trouble making headway this event. No doubt the restrictions around the country are making it difficult to properly prepare plus having zero domestic events and warm up events are clearly taking a toll. However, the goal is Tokyo and it's important that Team USA can reflect on Tashkent, regroup and move forward to achieve the ultimate success at the Olympic Games.