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Junior world championships as icing on the cake of the season
15 Oct 2019 18:00
Excitement all over in Marrakech where this week the Junior World Championships will be hosted. The future of judo gathered in judo city of Morocco with the official draw conducted as first official event of the Junior Worlds.
A total of 517 competitors (294 men and 223 women) from 81 countries are present in some very tough and condensed pools. The juniors know what to do as they are close to senior level where the pressure is even higher. This is their mark for this season.
The competition hall decorated like any event of the World Judo Tour and according to world standards, a millimeter organization, the best referees in the world. All accompanied by the stress and tension of a competition of this level.
IJF Sports Director and former senior World Champion Daniel Lascau explains: “The competition which is about to take place in Morocco is an important and major milestone for the athletes that, for sure, we will see on the international scene in the years to come. A few weeks ago, we had the Cadet World Championships. This was already a very interesting event. In the cadet division, you can win a medal because you are very talented. In the Juniors, you need to be talented, but you also need to work very hard to reach the top level.
"We have many examples of Cadets and Junior World medallists, who later on in their career, became world and Olympic medallists. I am convinced that among the athletes who will compete in Marrakech, we are building the generation for the Paris 2024 Games.“
Another World Champion now working for the IJF is Sports Director Armen Bagdasarov, who was in charge of the technical aspects of the draw. “Those younger age categories are crucial for the athletes to build their mental and psychological capacities to face future challenges. Of course winning a medal here in Marrakech will be very important, but this is only the beginning of the way to the top level. We have examples of competitors, who didn't necessarily win a gold medal at the cadet and junior world championships, but later on they were among the top level athletes. They definitely used those competition to get ready for the future."
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Dweezil Schoonen (NED)