As preparations gather pace for Rio 2016, Havana gets set to host its inaugural Grand Prix, marking the first International Judo Federation (IJF) event to fall inside the period for Olympic qualification.
The Havana Grand Prix establishes the Pan American leg of the World Judo Tour after Miami hosted America's first Grand Prix on this date last year.
It will feature 297 competitors from 40 countries as athletes battle not only for a coveted gold medal, but vital ranking points on their road to Rio 2016.
As the first IJF qualification event en route to Rio 2016, the Grand Prix in the Cuban capital will see some of the world's best judoka battle it out on the City Sport Coliseum tatami as they look to gain momentum on their two-year Olympic journey.
Brazil's Olympic champion Sarah Menezes will be a strong favourite to triumph in the women's lightest category, under 48 kilogrammes, as she hopes to regain her world number one status after losing it to Mongolia's world champion Munkhbat Urantsetseg due to her recent inactivity on the World Tour.
Another Brazilian, world number two Erika Miranda, will be aiming for success on home soil in two years time and arrives in Cuba as the top seed in the women's under 52kg category.
She will face a tough battle through the likes of Russian European silver medallist Natalia Kuziutina and French sensation Amandine Buchard, who moves up from the lighter under 48kg category.
Germany has signalled a show of strength by taking a 30-strong contingent squad, including world number one Miryam Roper, who fights in the under 57kg category, and under 70kg world number two and world silver medallist Laura Vargas.
The biggest cheers of the Grand Prix will likely be reserved for Cuba's Olympic and world champion Idalys Ortiz as she launches her bid for Rio 2016 on Sunday (June 8) in the heaviest women's category, over 78kg.
France's European champion Emilie Andeol will be battling to outperform her rival, who will be joined by compatriot, cadet world champion Gusmary Garcia Savigne.
Gerogia will be strong as ever in the men's draw as world number one and world silver medallist Avtandili Tchrikishvili and top-ranked and world runner-up Varlam Liparteliani battle for top honours in the under 81kg and under 90kg categories respectively.
World number two and world silver medallist Amiran Papinashvili will also prove a strong favourite to bring gold back to Georgia as he battled in the men's under 60kg category.
Competition in Havana is set to get underway tomorrow with action continuing inside the City Sport Coliseum until Sunday (June 8).
Watch the latest action on Judo TV here.
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