Judo President hopeful of team event inclusion at Rio 2016
Wednesday, 26 September 2012
September 26 - International Judo Federation (IJF) President Marius Vizer claimed he is hopeful that the team edition of the sport will feature at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
The 2012 Team World Championships are set to take place on October 27 and 28 in Salvador, Brazil, in what is the biggest team event in the sport as only the individual concept appears at the Olympics.
Salvador will be the ninth edition of the Team World Championships and Vizer (pictured top) believes the event represents a good opportunity for the format to show its Olympic credentials.
"Brazil was not chosen to host the event by chance," said the 54-year-old Austrian, who has been IJF President since 2007.
"In four years from now, we will come to Rio for the next Olympic Games and we do hope that the team tournament will be integrated into the Olympic programme.
"That's exactly why the format of the competition in Salvador will be the same as the one we propose to integrate into the Olympic programme."
The event next month will see 16 men's and 16 women's teams competing, with France the defending champions in both the male and female competitions after they came out on top in Paris last year.
Vladimir Barta, the IJF head sports director, is also confident the event can showcase exactly why it deserves to appear at the Olympics.
"The team competition has something special, something different," Barta said.
"We believe that it is totally adapted to the Olympic spirit and the feedback that we get from the IOC (International Olympic Committee) after last year's edition of the competition in Paris was excellent."
Barta continued that part of the attraction of the event is that it is so open and unpredictable.
"In Salvador, it is really difficult to say which team will be the new world champion," he explained.
"During a team event everybody can win or lose because the team spirit can completely change the predictions and the atmosphere is just incredible.
"Top champions will be in Brazil for the big event, but even outsiders, new and young reserves, can play and, for sure, will play an outstanding role.
"For the team, every athlete wants to put 110 per cent of energy to win.
"It will be also a perfect test for the Brazilian public with the Rio 2013 Senior World Championship next year and the of course the 2016 Olympic Games."