The IJF Congress was held in Astana

21 august

The IJF Congress, the first official and public business on the occasion of the World Judo Championships 2015 in Astana, Kazakhstan, took place on Friday at the Palace of Peace and Reconciliation.

Mr. Jean-Luc ROUGE, IJF General Secretary and Mr. Naser AL-TAMIMI, IJF General Treasurer, were re-elected unopposed for four-year terms while four new IJF Executive Committee members were unveiled in the Kazakhstan capital ahead of the seven-day competition which starts on Monday. Former President and CEO of Adidas AG Mr. Rene JAGGI was unaminously validated by the Congress as a new member of the IJF Executive Committee along with Kodokan Judo Institute President Mr. UEMURA Haruki and All Japan Judo Federation Vice President Mr. YAMASHITA Yasuhiro, Olympic champions in 1976 and 1984 respectively, and Chinese Judo Association President Mr. ZHOU Jinqiang.

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Mr. Marius VIZER, IJF President, made the opening address: “Good morning ladies and gentleman, Mr. Minister of Sports of Kazakhstan, welcome to Astana on the occasion of the 2015 edition of the World Judo Championships.”

After a poignant short video about the judo history the delegates national member federations and continental unions were introduced to the new IJF Anthem.

“The IJF anthem was prepared during the last three months and was composed by Mr. Wagner in coordination with Michel HUET and played by the Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra.

“I hope that it will well represent our sport and our solidarity,” said Mr. VIZER.

“We have the honour to thank very much the Government of Kazakhstan, the Minister of Sports, the Federation of Kazakhstan. Mr. MUHAMEDIULY Arystanbek.”

Mr. MUKHAMEDIULY took to the stage to make the first address on behalf of the local organising committee. “Dear Mr. VIZER, dear delegations, I have the pleasure to welcome you all to Astana. I wish you the best of luck in the competition.”

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Mr. VIZER said: "The World Championships 2014 were one of the best in history with a high number of fans, showcasing a high level of spectacular judo with fair play and good competition.

“Our events show our dynamic rules which are generating more active judo and they are appreciated by athletes and fans. Our sport has undergone massive development regarding the global arena as world-class sport, practitioners and heroes join together for 19 global events each year.

“Last year there was a cumulative TV audience of 176 million people with over 3,000 hours broadcast.”

“Judo is most educational sport on the Olympic Program, without any discrimination,” said Mr. VIZER.

Reflecting on a successful IJF Congress 2015, Mr. VIZER said: “We have increased the number of Executive Committee members to help us to face the future developments of our organisation. I’m particularly happy that Mr. René JAGGI joined us today.

“He will bring all his expertise in terms of marketing and strategy, which will count in the upcoming months. It is also important to see that Japanese representatives are back with Mr. Haruki Uemura and Mr. Yasuhiro Yamashita as well as Mr. ZHOU Jinqiang from China. It was a very good congress indeed, compact and very professional. The atmosphere was excellent, full of good spirit and solidarity, which is very positive for the future developments of judo. This congress was very important and we have proven one more time that the IJF is a modern organization and that all our members will benefit of the hard work of everybody."

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The Congress concluded with distinctions for three integral members of the judo family. Mr. Nicolas MESSNER, IJF Media Director and Judo for Peace Head Director, and Mr. Michel BROUSSE, author of the new IJF Judo Anthology, along with Mr. Matthias FISCHER, IJF IT Director, were presented with an IJF Gold plaque.

The build-up to the World Judo Championships 2015 continues on Saturday with a special evening to induct 10 judoka into the IJF Hall of Fame ahead of Sunday’s World Judo Championships draw and press conference.

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