Panamerican Judo Confederation

The IJF President, Mr. Marius Vizer, just came back from Sao Paulo, the biggest and healthiest Brazilian city, where he officially launched the World Cup 2010.

The ceremony took place at the Major´s auditorium, in the presence of the Major Gilberto Kassab, the President of the Brazilian Olympic Committee, Mr. Carlos Arthur Nuzman, the President of the Brazilian Judo Federation, Mr. Paulo Wanderley Teixeira, and other authorities.

Sao Paulo is the «birthplace» of Brazilian Judo, where not less than 13 of the country´s 15 Olympic medals came from.The city will host for the first time an IJF official event. The Sao Paulo World Cup is to take place in the last week-end of May (29-30), one week after the Rio de Janeiro Grand Slam. The cities are 45 minutes away by plane.

«I would like to congratulate the Brazilian Judo for all it has been doing. The World Cup in Sao Paulo is one of the most prestigious events in the international calendar and, who knows, we might have the pleasure to come back to the city to see the World Championships here in 2013», said Mr. Vizer, who presented Major Kassab and the Olympic Committee President with the IJF gold plate to thank their support to the judo sport.

Mr. Kassab also received an official judogi from the hand of Henrique Guimaraes, 1996 bronze medalist.

«I want that wearing this judogi simbolyzes our partnership with judo for a long time», said the Sao Paulo Major.

The President of the Brazilian Judo Federation said that bringing the World Cup to Sao Paulo for the first time  (after Belo Horizonte in 2009) is a way of «pay the debt» with the city.

«Brazilian Judo owes a lot to Sao Paulo, a city that contributed a lot with our sport. I hope this is the first of many other high class events to come», said Mr. Teixeira.

For Mr. Nuzman, President of the BOC, the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games have a lot to win with the judo events in Sao Paulo.

“For our hopes to have great games in Rio 2016, host events like the World Cup and may be the World Championships in 2013 is great”, commented Mr. Nuzman.

Before the official ceremony, Mr. Vizer had lunch with 10 out of 12 Brazilian Olympic Medalists, who together won 13 medals for the country: Chiaki Ishii (bronze 1972), Luiz Onmura (bronze 1984), Douglas Vieira (silver 1984), Aurélio Miguel (gold 1988 and bronze 1996), Rogério Sampaio (gold 1992), Henrique Guimarães (bronze 1996), Carlos Honorato (silver 2000), Tiago Camilo (silver 2000 and bronze 2008), Leandro Guilheiro (bronze 2004 and 2008) e Ketleyn Quadros (bronze 2008).

On Saturday (6), Mr. Juan Carlos Barcos, IJF Head Sports Director, presented a workshop in Sao Paulo for around 300 refeeres. Mr. Barcos started his speech by saying why IJF has decided to change some of the rules.

«Our sport was getting away from its principles. What we want is a clean judo», Mr. Barcos said, adding that Brazil and Japan are examples to be followed. «This two nations are not only technically strong but they observe all the aspects of our sport: step in the tatami, the bow, the respect to the rules and referees, the approach to victory and defeat», he adds.

The Brazilian referee Edison Minakawa, considered by IJF one of the best in the world, also attended the seminar.

«It is important for the level of Brazilian Judo to have Mr. Barcos in person updating us with the newest information about our sport. Brazil has only to grow», commented Minakawa.

Manoela Penna, IJF