Antonio Castro-Soto praised the values that judo teaches ©IJF

Antonio Castro-Soto, son of former Cuban leader Fidel Castro, has praised the International Judo Federation following the completion of their Grand Prix competition in Havana.

A total of 293 judoka from 66 countries competed during the three-day event at the Sport City Coliseum, where vital Olympic qualification points were on offer.

The competition was only the second of its kind to be staged in Cuba and acted as the opening event on the IJF’s calendar for 2016.

Castro-Soto reflected that further coverage of the sport was required, in order to highlight judo’s benefits and the values it teaches.

“Judo is a great sport that teaches respect,” said Castro-Soto.

“It teaches you how to win and how to lose and to respect one another.

“There are so many problems in the world, so much conflict now.

“Sport helps guide children away from this - and also away from drugs and shootings.”

Cuba earned two gold medals at the Grand Prix event
Cuba earned two gold medals at the Grand Prix event ©IJF

The Grand Prix event proved successful for the host nation after they finished second on the overall medals table, with their judokas having secured two golds.

Reigning women’s over 78 kilogram Olympic champion Idalys Ortiz had earned their first success of the competition by defeating France’s Lucie Louette Kanning in her final.

Her achievement had been followed by Asley Gonzalez topping the men’s under 90kg podium.

Castro-Soto had presented the gold medals to both judokas.