Judo restarts for VI at the Antalya Grand Prix / IJF.org

Just three weeks after the IJF Antalya Grand Slam, Turkey is once again opening its doors to top judo. This is the start of a new season of IBSA Judo for visually impaired athletes. This is the start of a new Paralympic cycle, not only with new weight categories, but also new classification categories. This was mixed with a high percentage of debuts, which proved to be the secret to an exciting first day of racing.

Sara Alvarez, IBSA Judo Director, said:This is the first opportunity for an athlete to earn world ranking points. The higher the ranking, the better their place in the Paralympic qualifying rounds, which start in September. With all the changes, this tournament represents a fresh start. We meet new athletes and learn about new rules and new categories in action. The biggest challenge everyone faces is adapting to these changes.

New taxonomy category

We’re talking about changes in weight classes, as well as classification classes. Previously, athletes were divided into three categories of visually impaired, but they always competed together. Today, for the first time, we have two categories: J1, the most visually impaired athletes, and J2, the less visually impaired athletes. The two categories are separated in the competition. Another big change is the number of weight categories. There are four categories per category, and now males and females have equal numbers of weight groups. The new categories are -48kg, -57kg, -70kg and +70kg for women and -60kg, -73kg, -90kg and +90kg for men.

Combination of experience and talent

Day 1 of the Antalya Grand Prix showcased more newcomers than ever before. The new classification paves the way for more opportunities for J1 athletes on the World Tour. Alvarez explained, “With the new classification rules, you’ll see athletes play more evenly, which makes judo more fun. The J1 category is more spectacular than ever. One of the characteristics of J1 Judo is that they are very aggressive and open in judo. They really want to throw off their opponents and keep looking for an attack.

One of the best examples of the first day is someone very famous in Paralympic circles. Tokyo Paralympic bronze medalist Florin Alexandru Bologa looked effortless with all the adjustments. Having competed in the -60kg category before and as a B1 athlete, he is already planning to advance after Tokyo. With the new weight category, his new category is -73kg, moving 13kg. Having won all his games with ippon, he proved that any adoption is possible.


The final in the J1 -60kg category was a close contest between home favourites Abdurrahim Ozalp (TUR) and Diyorbek Maydonov (UZB). In the first half, Ozalp’s strong left-handed grip challenged Medonoff, but once he got it out of the way, the game was empty with dangerous attacks on both sides. Ozalp proved to be the stronger of the two, winning with a beautiful counter-attack in the final 30 seconds.

J2 -48kg

Carmen Brussig has represented Germany and now Switzerland, a country where she has lived for over 20 years. The veteran athlete, who won both of her events and a well-deserved first gold medal for Switzerland, said, “It’s a good start! We plan to play all the world tours this year, as well as the continental championships.”

J1 -57kg

Just as we’ve been talking about more experienced athletes, we can’t forget to mention potential new heroes on the World Tour. Merve Uslu (TUR) has to be one of the athletes to watch in the coming years. She beat all her opponents in style and won her first gold medal on the IBSA Tour.

J2 -73kg

Another top athlete, Namig Abasli (AZE), had to adjust to his new weight class on day one. After winning a bronze medal in the -66kg category at the Tokyo Paralympics, he now faces the top athlete in the -73kg category, Giorgio Cardani (GEO). Two seasoned judokas put on a real show in the final bout of the day. It was Abasli who scored first, but as many times before, Kaldani came back with success, scoring two waza-ari in a row and taking home another medal in his successful career.

Sara Alvarez said at the end of the first day of competition: “Over the past few years, I have witnessed the changes and progress of the Paralympic Judo competition. Not only the organization, but also the delegation, coaches and athletes have become more Professional. The recent changes required a lot of adjustments for all involved, but I find them very positive. Today, we took a very important step in Paralympic Judo.”


J1 – 60 kg

1. OZALP, Abdurrahim TUR

2. Medonov, Diorbek, Uzbekistan


3. YUCE, Sait Gokhan TUR

5. Muradov, Ismail Azer

5. RAKHMADJONOV, Shakhzodkhon UZB

7. PAIXAO, Roberto Nunes Bra

J1 -73 kg

1. BOLOGA, Florin Alexandru ROU


3. CAMANNI, Dongdong ITA

3. YAVUZ, Gokce Tur

5. RAMIREZ, Rudolf Fabian ARG

5. SASS, Lennart, Germany

7. Ramani, Ndebo RSA

7. MAMEDOV, Shokhrukh UZB

J2 – 60 kg

1. CIFTCI, Recep TUR

2. Min Jae, Lee Go

3. KILIC, Kadir Tour


J2 -73 kg

1. KALDANI, Giorgi GEO


3. Dong Hoon, Kim Han


5. RAKHMATOV, Bunyodbek UZB


7. JALILOV, Jonibek UZB

J1 -48 kg

1. SILVA DE ANDRADE, Rossi Rade Bra

2. KYZY KHUSAN, Khaitkhon KGZ

3. DeMille, Merv Tour

3. DURE, Rocio Ledesma ARG

5. GungOR, Deryatur

5. MASOUROU, Emmanouela GRE


J1 – 57 kg

1. USLU, Merve TUR

2. CAKAR, Guriztour

3. CHORIEVA, Sarvinoz UZB

3. Giordano, Asia ITA

5. Wagner, Vanessa G.

J2 – 48 kg

1. BRUSSIG, Carmen SU​​I



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