IJF News - 27 August, 2017

IJF celebrates 65th Anniversary with gala evening at Hungarian State Opera House


The IJF marked its 65th Anniversary with an unforgettable gala evening as the judo family united to celebrate the sport, its luminaries and its journey to Budapest for the 2017 Suzuki World Judo Championships on the eve of the opening day.


Judo legends and Olympic champions were among those recognised at the Hungarian State Opera House with entertainment provided from world-renowned artists and performers whose memorable performances were on par with the accomplishments of the many award winners. 


The IJF President Mr. Marius Vizer addressed the audience following the International Judo Federation Anthem as judo fans watched the lavish evening unfold live on the IJF website.

“Dear distinguished guests, colleagues, ladies and gentlemen and judo friends, this is a great occasion and honour for us to celebrate the 65th anniversary of the IJF with big personalities from sport, social life and business.


“Thank you to all who have contributed to our success in this time and especially the judo heroes and veterans, many of whom are here today. I thank all judoka in the world, the media, our partners, sponsors, referees, coaches, National Federation’s, continental unions and IJF staff.  


“I wish you a nice evening and a successful World Championships.”



After a performance by The Summer Girls Edit and Aliz and the highly acclaimed and multi-talented Nyari Karoly, IJF President Mr. Marius Vizer returned to the stage for the Lifetime Achievement Award presentations.  


The first recipient was Mr. Jean-Luc Rougé, IJF General Secretary and French Judo Federation President, who said: “This is a big pleasure for me but I have so many things to do in the future. I can say that I have never worked in my life, I fell into judo, the leading education system in sport and I am grateful for all the opportunities and experiences I have been fortunate to enjoy in my life through judo."  



Mr. Luis Guardia, one of the founding members of the Pan American Judo Confederation, was the second Lifetime Achievement Award winner.   


Mr. Guardia, who received IJF Gold Medal and Diploma, for his contribution in the development of Pan-American Judo, from IJF Head Sport Director Mr. Vladimir Barta in 2012, was moved by the award from the IJF President.



“I am moved by receiving this award, on this special occasion for judo and the IJF, to be on stage and honoured is something very special and I can’t help but feel emotional,” said the 9th Dan who started judo in the 1950s in Cuba.


IJF Kata Commission Director and Italian judo legend Franco Capelletti was the third recipient of the IJF Lifetime Achievement Award.



“It is emotional for me to speak right now,” said the 9th Dan who received the Order of the Rising Sun, the third highest honour in Japan, in 2014.


“I am incredibly grateful to the IJF President and you all, thank you very much and best wishes to all of you.”



The winner of Hungary’s top talent show “Star Academy” Szocs Renata was then accompanied on piano by Cseke Gabor for a sensational performance before the hugely popular “Paris Madame” Michelle Takino performed in French and Japanese.



The Loyalty Partnership Awards recognised the immense contribution of the IJF’s partners who help to make such events as the World Championships, as well as the grassroots programmes, so successful.


Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) President Mr. Francesco Ricci Bitti awarded OTP Bank.



“Thank you very much to Mr. Vizer for this award and for the whole operation, its magnificent,” said Mr. Wolf Laszlo who received a miniature Jigoro Kano figurine.


“We like to support sport and judo. Sport improves society, teaches people to fight, to work hard, it changes people. I wish you a lot of success and together we can develop a better society.”



SOCAR was the next recipients and their President and Azerbaijan Judo Federation President Mr. Rovnag Abdullayev collected the prize.


“Thank you all very much, we are proud of our sponsorship with the IJF, we wish you all a lot of success and good luck to the organisation committee for these World Championships that I am sure will be a great success.”



Taishan were also rewarded for their efforts and partnership with the IJF as the third recipients of the Loyalty Partnership Awards.


“Dear distinguished guests, judo family, I sincerely wish for us to develop judo together, I congratulate the IJF on the occasion of its 65th Anniversary. Well done Mr. Vizer on all the successful work of the International Judo Federation.”



Dalkia were the fourth and final Loyalty Partnership Award winners.


“Thank you all, it is a pleasure to be here and to receive this award and I wish you a wonderful World Championships.”

The next award was for the Best Development of a National Federation.



European Judo Union President Mr. Sergey Soloveychik presented the award to Croatian Judo Federation President Dr. Sanda Corak.


"This is a great honour to receive this award. For us 10 years ago it seemed impossible but we shared the same vision, team work, and had the strong support of the judo community. Thank you to IJF President Mr. Marius Vizer for always believing and supporting us and also thank you to EJU President Mr. Soloveychik and thank you to the judo family and friends.”


The awards moved on to the field of media and started with the arrival to the stage of former President of Hungary and current IOC member Mr. Schmitt Pal.


Mr. Pal said: “Judo is the best educational sport, I love judo and appreciate it very much. I wish you a great evening and a fantastic time in Hungary.”



Japanese media company Hakuhodo were the first Media Award winners.

“We are very pleased, we appreciate the support from the IJF and the Hungarian Judo Association,” said the winner.


“We think this success is only the beginning, we are committed to working closely with the IJF to promote this great sport worldwide and our ambitions could not be achieved without the support of Mr. Vizer and the IJF family.


“We hope judo will be one of the leading sports in the future. We are committed to this development so we hope for your support long into the future.



Euro News were the second recipients of the Media Award.

“This award goes to my team in Lyon,” said the winner.


“Euro News was the first global channel to launch a partnership with the IJF and we see it as a win-win situation as judo is a sport of honour and I believe that media is a sport of honour too.”


Bristol-based film production company Huxley was the third recipients of the Media Award after producing the award-nominated IJF Judo For The World video series.



Huxley Creative Director Mr. Jose Macerola, said: “Thank you to the IJF President Mr. Vizer, thank you to the Director of the IJF Presidential Office, Ms. Larisa Kiss, thank you to Mr. Nicolas Messner, IJF Media Director and our friends from Fighting Films.”

“We had lots of fun making these stories, the family of judo is very passionate. Judo is an incredible sport, we have learnt a lot and look forward to producing more videos.”



The fourth and final media award went to the international Sports Press Association (AIPS).


“I’m very glad to receive the award on behalf of all my colleagues, thank you all. We may be working under different flags but we all share a synergy. Thank you everyone.”


The Judo for Peace Award was presented by Secretary of State for Sports of Hungary Ms. Szabo Tunde to IJF Media Director and IJF Judo for Peace Head Director Mr. Nicolas Messner.



“Good evening everyone, I always thought that being on stage was going to be easy, but not at all, a lot of things are going through my brain. I have to thank you Mr. Vizer for giving me the chance to achieve the goals of my life and to give smiles to children around the world who have witnessed problems in their lives.


“I am the son and grandson of refugees, I know what it means to be in difficult situations and through judo, which is a simple activity, we can give back a smile to children all over the world.”


The entertainment resumed with classically trained pianist and jazz expert Kardos Norbert and Hungarian singing star Radics Gigi.



One of Romania’s most versatile performers with a voice to charm, excite and stun, Marcel Pavel, followed with a thrilling performance.


IJF Vice President and Judo Union of Asia President Mr. Obaid Al-Anzi then honoured IJF Hall of Famers Yamashita Yasuhiro and Uemura Haruki with Lifetime Achivement Awards.


IJF Development Director Yamashita Yasuhiro said: “Dear distinguished guests, dear all, it is a great honour for me to receive to this award, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the IJF President Mr. Marius Vizer.



“Judo is one of most attractive sports in the world, it is a great pleasure to work with all of you. I wish you all a successful World Championships starting from Monday.”


IJF World Promotion Director Uemura Haruki said: “The IJF was born in 1951, and I was born in 1951, we are the same age. Thank you so much to the judo family for this award.”


The Best Female Judoka Award was presented to Rio 2016 Olympic champion and Kosovo hero Majlinda Kelmendi.


“Good evening, it is a great honour to be here,” said the double world champion who competes in Budapest on Tuesday.


“First of all I want to congratulate the IJF President Mr. Marius Vizer for your re-election, thank you sir and congratulations. Thank you for working so hard and making our sport improve every day.


“Thank you for your support for me, for Kosovo and Kosovo Judo, you are the reason Kosovo received recognition from the IOC. Thanks to you I was able to represent my country at the Olympics last year and thanks to you we have a gold medal. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.


“I would like to thank the person who raised me, educated me and made me a champion, my coach Driton Toni Kuka and his brothers who are patriots and have done so much for our country. Thank you so much.


“I have won the Europeans, Worlds and the Olympics but this award is my Mount Everest, I can’t wish for more. All I can say is god bless judo.”



International Olympic Committee member Ms. Aicha Garad Ali announced the Best Male Judoka Award which went to double Olympic champion and eight-time world champion Teddy Riner.


The all-conquering Frenchman competes on Saturday 2 September in Hungary and has not yet arrived yet in Budapest.


Mr. Jean-Luc Rougé returned to the stage to collect the award on behalf of Riner who is undefeated since 2010.


The next award was the Judo Academy Development Award which International Handball Federation President Mr. Hasan Moustafa presented to IJF Academy Director Envic Galea.



Mr. Moustafa said: “Good evening all, it is a pleasure to be part of this special evening in Budapest with the judo community and I hope we can make a collaboration in the future. “


Award winner Mr. Galea said: “I do have feel like I have a job, as Jean-Luc said, it is a pleasure, thank you to the Kodokan Judo Institute for your support and thank you all.”



The next award was presented to the host city of the 2017 Suzuki World Judo Championships.


IJF President Mr. Marius Vizer said: “It is a great honour for us to organise the World Judo Championships in Budapest for the first time. Budapest is a beautiful city, it’s very well developed and has many visitors, thank you to HJA and the Hungarian Government, thank you all sport leaders in Hungary and all those who have contributed to the organisation of this event.”


Mr. Vizer presented the award to Dr. Toth Laszlo and State Secretary of Sport, Dr Tünde Szabó.



HJA President Dr. Toth said: “Hungarian Judo is very proud to receive this award for our wonderful capital city and we are honoured to host you all.”


The next awards were presented to each continental union President for their Development of Continental Judo.



IJF President Mr. Marius Vizer and Honorary Vice president of the IJF and President of OTP Bank Mr. Csanyi Sando presented the awards to:


European Judo Union Mr. Sergey Soloveychik
African Judo Union President Mr. Habib Sissoko
Judo Union of Asia President Mr. Obaid Al-Anzi

Pan American Judo Confederation President Mr. Manuel Larranaga
Oceania Judo Union President Mr. Davio Rehia



The stage was set for the closing act of the evening who boasts an incredible 26 gold and eight platinum records to his name. IJF Ambassador, UN Ambassador, songwriter and international singing star, the incomparable, Al Bano, who was joined by lauded international singer Irina Nicolae to bring the evening to a hair-raising conclusion. Italian star Al Bano will also feature in the opening ceremony of the 2017 Suzuki World Judo Championships on Monday.



Click here for information on the broadcasting of the 2017 Suzuki World Judo Championships

IJF Media & Communications Department
Mark Pickering, IJF Media Manager  

Nicolas Messner, IJF Media Director  

Photos © IJF Media by G. Sabau, M. Mayorova, A. Brandenburger, F. Alenezi



IJF - 1007 Lausanne, Switzerland 

Avenue Frédéric-César-de La Harpe 49

For any request related to that newsletter, please contact us at press@ijf.org | unsubscribe

This message was sent by the International Judo Federation

IJF President’s Office • HUN 1051 Budapest, Jozsef Attila str. 1

IJF General Secretariat • FFJudo - 21-25 Avenue de la Porte de Châtillon , F-75 680 Paris Cedex 14 France

IJF Lausanne Office • 1007 Lausanne • Avenue Frédéric-César-de-La-Harpe 49 • Switzerland