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Judo on hold as COVID-19 outbreak impacts events calendar worldwide

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Judo on hold as COVID-19 outbreak impacts events calendar worldwide

Image credit: Eurosport

ByBeth Knox
21/05/2020 at 09:38

The coronavirus pandemic continues to impact the world of judo with all international competition on hold and no indications as yet to a possible resumption.

Along with most other sports, the worldwide health emergency has seen all judo events scheduled for the remainder of May and all of June either postponed or cancelled.

The International Judo Federation (IJF) Baku Grand Slam, which was scheduled for 8 to 10 May in Baku, Azerbaijan, was the first major event to be suspended in May, This weekend’s European Veteran Championship (21 to 24 May) in Athens, Greece, has been cancelled, with the equally hugely-anticipated 2020 IJF Doha Masters , scheduled for 28 to 30 May, also suffering the same fate.

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Heading towards June and it is a similar picture with Budapest Grand Slam (12 to 14 June) in Hungary and then the Hohhot Grand Prix (26 to 28 June) in China both suspended, pending possible rearrangement.

A whole host of regional events and Championships have also either been suspended or cancelled altogether in June and even as far in advance as July and August.
The European University Games, earmarked for 17 to 19 July in Belgrade, Serbia, have been cancelled, with August’s World Junior and Cadet Championships in Turkey (17 to 25 August) currently all postponed.

If there is some hope of a return to action it comes with the European Judo Union (EJU) confirming the European Judo Championships are now scheduled to take place in November.

The Czech Republic capital of Prague had initially been due to host the Championships in April, with the event featuring as part of the Tokyo 2020 qualification process, but the coronavirus pandemic led to organisers moving the event to June.

However as most of Europe was still battling to contain the COVID-19 outbreak, the decision was taken to postpone the event for a second time, with proposed dates for 8 to 10 November 8 to 10 been given by the EJU, pending confirmation of negotiations with the event’s intended venue of the O2 Arena Prague.

The Cadet European Judo Championships in Riga (from 2 to 5 July) have also been postponed with the competition in the Latvian capital now expected to be held from 28 November to 1 December.

The EJU also stated the Junior European Championships will be combined with the European Under-23 Championships, with the combined event to be held in Porec, Croatia from 11 to 15 November. Confirmation has also been given that the Luxembourg Judo Federation will continue as the organiser of the Junior European Championships in 2021.

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