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World judo junior championships coming to The Bahamas

Bahamian Karra Hanna prepares to toss a competitor in the judo competition at last year’s Commonwealth Youth Games here in The Bahamas. Hanna won a bronze medal in the 70 kg-plus category. The Bahamas has been chosen to host the IJF World Junior Championships in October of 2018. FILE

On the heels of tremendous success in the sport of judo for The Bahamas at the 6th Commonwealth Youth Games last year, the country has been chosen to host the judo world junior championships.

The championships, which is sanctioned by the International Judo Federation (IJF), is set for October 2018. In December, The Bahamas was shortlisted to be the host nation along with countries such as Thailand and Colombia. The Bahamas eventually prevailed, being chosen over several developed nations that vied for the honor.

The judo junior worlds is the third most high profile judo tournament in the world, surpassed only by the senior worlds and the Olympics. The IJF World Junior Championships have regularly attracted over 2,000 persons from 100 countries including athletes, support staff, fans and family. It will be aired in 106 countries and is live streamed over the internet.

“This unprecedented distinction for Bahamas Judo follows the phenomenal progress of local competitors on the world stage over the last few years and will attract the gaze of the global judo community, bringing hundreds of attendees to New Providence and tv viewers in more than 100 countries worldwide,” said Bahamas Judo Federation (BJF) President D’Arcy Rahming in a press release. “World level judo tournaments are regularly attended by world leaders such as Russia’s Vladimir Putin, the UAE’s (United Arab Emirates) Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Prince Albert II of Monaco, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, and Mongolia President Khaltmaagin Battugla, as well as a host of other political and business leaders.”

On hand this week for the official announcement here in The Bahamas will be several of world judo’s leading figures – IJF Advisor to the President Daniel Lascau; IJF Development Director Jose Rodriguez and President of Judo Canada and Secretary General of the Pan American Judo Confederation Mike Tamura.

Local dignitaries expected to be on hand at the press conference for the official announcement include the directors of youth and sports in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, Minister Michael Pintard, and the directors of sports tourism in the Ministry of Tourism and Aviation, and education in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.

The press conference is set for Thursday in the Imperial Ballroom of Atlantis.

Judo emerged during the Commonwealth Youth Games as a medal sport. At last year’s Commonwealth Youth Games in The Bahamas, the host nation was able to secure two bronze medals.

The sport of judo is practiced in The Bahamas in clubs and various schools.

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