JUDO BRINGS US TOGETHER
The key sporting event of the Forum will be the international judo tournament named after the founder of the sport Jigoro Kano. The strong sporting component of the Forum reflects its key goals to enhance cooperation and regional development.
The idea for the tournament was proposed by the 1984 Olympic gold winner Yasuhiro Yamashita in the centenary of the first Russian-Japanese judo competition, which Vladivostok also hosted in 1917. The tournament is held under the patronage of President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister of Japan Shinzō Abe. Together with the President of Mongolia, Khaltmaagiin Battulga, they awarded the winner medals and trophies in 2017 and 2018.
This time around, the competition will be held between the global judo giants the national teams of Russia,Japan, Mongolia, China, and South Korea, made up of young men and women under the age of 18 years. A tournament of mixed teams will compete for the main trophy. By the way, Tokyo 2020 will host the Olympic debut of the mixed team tournament. Also, at the EEF 2019, judokas will fight for glory in the male categories up to 50, 55, 66, 73, and 90 kg and in the female categories up to 40, 44, 52, 57, and 70 kg.
The competitions are included in the International Judo Federation (IJF) calendar. «The tournament in Vladivostok is a wonderful example of how sport can broaden opportunities for dialogue between countries,» said IJF President Marius Vizer. The organizers are the Russian Judo Federation, the Primorye Territory Ministry of Sports and the Administration of the Territory. The operator is the Roscongress Foundation. The Fetisov Arena, the tournaments permanent home, is one of the largest sports complexes in the Far East.
VLADIVOSTOK AND OLYMPIANS
Judo will in fact arrive in Vladivostok almost a month before the tournament kicks off. The Russian team led by 2016 Olympics gold winner Khasan Khalmurzaev and Rio 2016 bronze winner Natalia Kuziutina will hold a World Championships training camp at the Judo Centre in FEFU on the Russky Island. The Judo World Championships will be held in Tokyo from 25 August to 1 September. Largely thanks to the Jigoro Kano tournament, judokas were the first Olympians to test Vladivostoks facilities as they prepare for the 2020 Olympics. Next year, the judokas will be followed in Primorye by the Russian national Greco-Roman wrestling, boxing, rowing and volleyball teams. And this September, the top Russian judo fighters will return from Tokyo to Vladivostok to hold a series of master classes and meetings for kids, which have become an integral part of the Jigoro Kano tournament.
Marius Vizer and Yasuhiro Yamashita, who was elected president of the Japanese Olympic Committee this summer, will also make the trip from Tokyo to the EEF 2019. They will participate in the session Olympism and Asia Pacific: Mutual Influence alongside ROC President Stanislav Pozdnyakov, IOC Deputy General Director Pere Miró, IOC President for Korea and IOC member Lee Ki-heung, three-time Olympic Greco- Roman wrestling champion Alexandr Karelin and Tokyo 2020 Sports Director Koji Murofushi. Igor Levitin, Aide to the President of the Russian Federation will moderate the discussion. At the EEF 2019, a cooperation agreement will also be signed between the Olympic Committees of Russia and Japan.
The Russian and Japanese sumo masters will continue their contest at the EEFs Far East Street
A STORM ON THE CRUISE SHIP
The topic of sporting exchanges between the countries will be continued by a contest between the national sumo teams of Russia and Japan, which will be held at the Far East Street exhibition. «This is a great opportunity to introduce Russians to Japanese culture,» said Japanese Ambassador to Russia Toyohisa Kozuki at a sumo contest held on 16 June in Moscow as part of Olympic Day. In that match-up, the Russian giants won, coming out with 16 victories to 9 defeats. In Vladivostok, the founders of sumo will be primed to take revenge, and a no-holds-barred contest is in the offing. «Last year sumo was recognized by the IOC. We now have much work to do to get sumo included in the Olympic programme, and the presentation of our sport at global venues such as the Eastern Economic Forum is of great importance,» said Roman Iliev, President of the Russian Sumo Federation.
The final act of Martial Arts Day will be the debut MMA tournament Roscongress Vladivostok Combat Night, which will take place at the official hotel of the Forum the Costa Venezia cruise ship. The main event will see one of the best middleweight fighters in the world, Russian three-time Bellator champion Alexander Shlemenko, take on American UFC champion Chris Honeycutt. Shlemenko has won 58 of his 70 career fights, earning the nickname Storm for his attacking style. And Honeycutt, who also has an aggressive style, is nicknamed the Cutt. The organizers of this new tournament are Telesport Media and the Roscongress Foundation. For ticket information, please go to your EEF 2019 personal web office.