EJU officials have inspected preparations for the 2016 European Judo Championships in Kazan ©EJU

An inspection of Kazan’s preparations for next year's European Judo Championships has taken place with the European Judo Union (EJU) and the Russian Judo Federation (RJF) having assessed progress in the Russian city.

The Championships is set to be held at the Tatneft Arena from April 21 to 24 and the venue was visited as part of the inspection by EJU vice-president Michal Vahun and Martin Poyger, head of EJU main office.

Accompanied by Valentin Habirov, vice-president and executive director of the RJF, the pair assessed the arena’s suitability for hosting competition and hosting official events, such as the draw and Gala Dinner.

“The city's rich history at the same time it has ultra-modern sports infrastructure, which is really impressive,” Vahun said.

“The conditions are very good, we look forward to the Championship, the 'Tatneft Arena' has excellent conditions for the athletes for their training and warming up.

“I would like to mention our cooperation with the Organising Committee, which has behind them - a great experience in the Summer Universiade and other projects, I am confident that we have developed a great team.”

A meeting regarding key issues affecting the Championships was also held, with anti-doping, accreditation and accommodation among the areas discussed by the organisers and the EJU officials.

Healthcare, the organisation of printed publications for the Championships and the volunteering programme were also on the meeting’s agenda.

The Tatneft Arena in Kazan staged judo the 2013 Summer Universiade and will host to next year's European Championships, due to be held in April ©YouTube
The Tatneft Arena in Kazan staged judo the 2013 Summer Universiade and will host to next year's European Championships, due to be held in April ©YouTube

"When we said Kazan, our European colleagues had no doubt that everything will be organised at the highest level,” said Habirov.

“Within the framework of this visit, we have to determine the place of drawing of lots, the place of work credentials committee and define the hotel, which will accommodate the athletes and officials.”

The Tatneft Arena hosted judo competition at the 2013 Summer Universiade and staged the Russian Championships in 2011.

Kazan is also expected share hosting duties for the second edition of the European Games in 2019, with 2014 Winter Olympic hosts Sochi, should Russia address serious doping problems.

The EJU hope the Championships will build on the success of the 2015 edition of the event, which was held as part of the inaugural European Games in Azerbaijan’s capital city Baku.

It followed the International Judo Federation stripping Scottish city Glasgow of the event following a dispute over the signing of the Ultimate Fighting Championship as a sponsor.

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