Yakhyo Imamov is the leading medal-hope for hosts Uzbekistan as the International Judo Federation (IJF) World Tour pitches up in Tashkent for the latest Grand Prix instalment.
The 2013 Paris Grand Slam winner is the only home athlete rated as top seed, topping the men's under 81 kilogram rankings in the Uzbekistan capital.
Imamov will likely face his toughest challenge from the likes of European Championship bronze medallist Szabolcs Krizsan of Hungary and Montenegro's World Championship silver medal winner Srdjan Mrvaljevic.
The draw for the Grand Prix, due to get underway tomorrow and last until Saturday (October 18), was made at the Uzbekistan Hotel in Tashkent today.
An almost even split of 142 men and 140 women will be taking to the tatami at the Uzbekistan Sports Complex, hosting the Grand Prix for the second successive year.
IJF educational and coaching director Mohamed Meridja praised the organisation of last year's event and is confident a similar standard of tournament will take place again over the next three days.
"Uzbekistan is one of the strongest nations in the region and judo is definitely one of the most important sports in the country, which has a very good sport structure and a high level of judo," said Merdja.
"This produces a lot of top world-class athletes.
"Many excellent results have been achieved by many athletes at the World Championships and Olympic Games.
"The Uzbekistan Judo Federation deserves all our recognition.
"I would like, in the name of our President, Marius Vizer, to thank all the organisers for all their efforts to make this event a very successful one and I wish good luck to all the participants.
"I hope they will reflect the values of our sport."
Other home judoka who will be hoping to make an impression in Tashkent include defending champion Sharafuddin Lutfillaev in the men's under 60kg class where Mongolian Amartuvshin Dashdavaa is the top seed.
Dilshod Choriev will be dangerous in the men's under 90kg category where Russia's Kirill Denisov and Egyptian Hatem Abd El Akher are the top two seeds, while Ramziddin Sayidov will be out to rattle the cage of Adlan Bisultanov, another Russian, in the men's under 100kg division.
Meanwhile, on the women's side the host nation is not expected to trouble the podium.
Once again Germany look like the strongest nation with three athletes ranked as the top seeds in their category.
World Championship silver medallist Laura Vargas Koch is the medal favourite in the under 70kg division, while Luise Malzahn and Franziska Konitz lead the way in the under 78kg and over 78kg classes respectively.
The under 63kg category is headed by last year's world champion Yarden Gerbi of Israel, where she will be challenged by the likes of Austrian Kathrin Unterwurzacher and Tbilisi Grand Prix winner Edwige Gwend of Italy.
Unterwurzacher's compatriot Sabrina Filzmoser is seeded number one in the under 57kg field that contains Olympic Games silver medallist Corina Caprioriu of Romania and Brazilian World Championship bronze medal winner Vlora Bedeti of Slovenia.
Romania also has strong representation in the under 52kg and under 48kg categories.
Andreea Chitu is the top ranked in the former, while Monica Ungureanu will be out to give Mongolian top-seed Otgontsetseg Galbadrakh a run for her money in the under 48kg class.
Watch the latest action on Judo TV here.
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