A draw took place in Tashkent today ahead of competition beginning tomorrow ©IJF

Action on the International Judo Federation (IJF) World Tour will resume tomorrow in Tashkent, with fighters from across Asia expected to dominate proceedings.

It comes as the global judo fraternity remains in mourning following the tragic death of Czech national team mamber Alexandr Jurecka in a car crash last Friday (September 25).

A total of 355 judoka spanning 52 nations are due to compete in the Uzbekistan capital in what marks the first major event since last month's World Championships in another Central Asian city, Astana in Kazakhstan.

Among those leading the way will be Yu Song, the women's heavyweight over 78 kilograms world champion and world number one.

The Chinese star, also two-time World Judo Masters winner, is expect is face stern opposition from a field of challengers led by team-mate Ma Sisi.

Another world champion in action will be South Korea's Gwak Dong Han in the men's under 90kg category. 

He will be up against opponents including Tajikistan's Komronshokh Ustopiriyon, who was unluckily denied the chance to fight for bronze in Astana after picking up an injury in his semi-final.

He is present after receiving financial assistance from the IJF.

Gwak Dong Han will be among world champions present in the Uzbek capital ©AFP/Getty Images
Gwak Dong Han will be among world champions present in the Uzbek capital ©AFP/Getty Images

A strong Chinese squad also includes Tyumen Grand Slam runner-up Ma Yingnan, number one seed in the women's under 52kg division, while former world silver medallist Hong Kuk Hyon of North Korea will be targeting the second Grand Prix win of his career when he sees action in the men's under 66kg event.

There will also be a hefty host nation presence, with favourite Sharafuddin Lutfillaev set to renew a rivalry with Mongolia's defending champion Amartuvshin Dashdavaa in the men's under 60kg contest.

Ramziddin Sayidov and Soyib Kurbonov will each be leading contenders at under 100kg.

European stars will also look to get among the medals, however, with Austria's Simona Filzmoser and Kathrin Unterwurzacher heading the fields in their respective women's under 57kg and under 63kg divisions.

 “Dear ladies and gentleman, I welcome you all to Tashkent," said Uzbekistan's Deputy Minister of Sports Affairs Murodjon Aliev during today's draw.

"The Judo Federation of Uzbekistan, the National Olympic Committee and Ministry of Sport have all been working hard to deliver this event.

"This Grand Prix offers points for Olympic qualification, I hope you all enjoy and wish you well.

"On behalf of all of the Organising Committee, I would like to say good luck to everyone.”

Action is due to begin tomorrow before ending on Saturday (October 3).

To watch the latest action on Judo TV click here. 

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