The Judo Grand Prix, Baku 2011, at 100%
On Thursday May 5th, 2011, the official draw of the Judo Grand Prix, Baku 2011, took place in the Capital of Azerbaijan.
This official draw brought together the representatives of the 50 countries engaged here in Baku. This event will be a good occasion to evaluate the situation of the national teams after these two months of break in the International Federation calendar, since the last Grand Prix in Düsseldorf, last February. In fact, as a break, the world's athletes were able to focus on their respective continental championships, which were held throughout the month of April. Meanwhile, two World Cups were also held in Warsaw and Prague.
The Baku Grand Prix, 2011 edition was originally located in Tunis. Due to the situation in the country, the difficult decision of moving the event to Azerbaijan, was made during the last Executive Committee meeting in Paris, last February, on the occasion of the Judo Grand Slam. Therefor, Baku is now welcoming his second main IJF event this year, after the perfect organization of the Masters, last January. And that is exactly what Matvey Yelizarov, Vice-President of the Azerbaijan Judo Federation, underlined during the draw, today at the Park-In Hotel, located in the city center. "This is a really special year for us, also because this Grand Prix will be dedicated to the memory of Heydar Aliyev, our former President" added Mr. Yelizarov.
But, as Mr, Barta, the IJF Head Sports Director, explained during this afternoons draw, the Judo Grand Prix, Baku 2011, is also very special in its sport dimension as it will be the first event of the year counting 100% for the Olympic Qualification in London 2012. From now on, every single point will be important for all the athletes. For sure the 342 competitors engaged in the Grand Prix know that and during the next three days, we will assist to a fantastic Judo show.
Broadcasting record: Over 104 Countries to Broadcast the Event.
Everyday, the competition will start at 10:30 am (local time). The semi-finals will take place on one single mat from 5:00 pm on, and the finals from 6:30 pm on (Local Time). The competition will be life broadcasted over 104 countries, which represents a new record.
The official draw can be found at: http://www.ippon.org/index_gp_baku2011
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