Medals were awarded in six age group categories on the opening day of the International Judo Federation (IJF) Veteran World Championships at the Sporthallen Zuid in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Among the veterans to take to the mats at the event, which followed the completion of the Kata World Championships, were those in the M6 category for men aged between 55 and 59-years-old.
Russian judokas claimed three golds in the category with Evgeniy Vasygin, Iurii Permiakov and Vladimir Slobodenyuk winning the under 73, 81 and over 100 kilogram divisions respectively, while the Czech Republic’s Lubomir Sindelar and Azerbaijan’s Farhad Rajabli won the under 66 and 90kg events.
Also in action were the M7 and M8 classes which saw several competitors from the ages of 60 to 69 competing, with many of the divisions featuring pool stages before the medal bouts.
Following the under 100kg event in the 60 to 65 age group, which saw four judokas competing for the title, Russia’s Andrey Kachnov emerged victorious after securing wins in all three of his bouts.
Elsewhere, Brazil’s Sergio Honda and Poland’s Waldemar Zukrowsk were also among those to claim gold medals in their respective age groups at under 60 and 66kg level.
Additionally the athletes from 70 to 79-years-old competed in the M9 and M10 events on the opening day of the Championships, while judokas aged 80 and over took part in M11 category competitions.
Andrei Bondor, IJF Veterans Commission Director, expressed his view that the Championships shows how the sport can cater for all age groups rather than just targeting young people.
“This is the first time we’ve held the event over four days and it is important to ensure we have good time management and all 1,200 competitors, which is typical of the popularity of this event, are able to compete in a good environment,” he said.
“The Veteran World Championships are also a social occasion for friends and family of the competitors to be here and witness and there is a great bond between the competitors.
“We factor in everything to maximise the experience and enjoyment for the competitors as the event is a real meeting point for everyone in the judo family.
“Judoka of all ages need an outlet to compete and we are pleased to be able to offer that and to continue to show the spirit of our sport and our judokas.”
Prior to competitions several presentations took place including The Netherlands’ Judo Bond President Willem Jan Stegeman receiving an IJF gold card and a porcelain statue of Jigoro Kano on behalf of IJF President Marius Vizer.
Additionally Koos Letterie, The Netherlands’ Judo Bond sports director, received an IJF gold medal for his achievements and career and Veteran Championships 2015 medals were awarded to long-time Dutch international judoka Hendrik Koppe and event manager Wouter Koeman for helping to organise the competition.
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September 2015: Japan complete clean sweep of golds at IJF Kata World Championships
September 2015: Japan take hat-trick of gold medals on opening day of IJF Kata World Championships