IOC President Thomas Bach praised the mixed team event at the IJF World Championships ©IOC

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach praised the first mixed team event held at the International Judo Federation (IJF) World Championships and claimed the sport will be an even more important part of the Games than ever before at Tokyo 2020.

Bach was in attendance for the final session of the mixed team competition, which is due to make its debut on the Olympic programme at the Games in the Japanese capital, alongside IJF President Mairus Vizer and former Hungarian President and IOC Member Pál Schmitt.

The German presented Japan with their gold medals and the trophy after they cruised to a 6-0 win over Brazil in the final.

The Japanese side swept all six matches with another dominant display having claimed seven gold medals in the individual events here.

A total of 21 nations entered the first mixed team competition to be held at a senior IJF World Championships.

The women competed at under-57 kilograms, under-70kg and over-70kg, while the men participated at under-73kg, under-90kg and over-90kg.

Each team was made up of 12 judokas - two in each weight category - and were free to change the make-up of their sides throughout the competition.

A total of six from every country took part in each contest, with the first team to win four matches progressing to the next round.

One match, a preliminary round bout between Georgia and Croatia, finished level at 3-3 after six matches.

The winner was decided on the amount of points scored across the contests.

Thomas Bach also met with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán during his visit to Budapest ©IOC
Thomas Bach also met with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán during his visit to Budapest ©IOC

Bach, who also met with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán during his fleeting visit to Budapest, hailed the importance of the mixed team event in achieving gender equality at the Olympics.

"It is very important and I can speak from experience as I won my gold medal in a team event," Bach, a former fencer, said.

"So this mixed team event has a special taste for me.

"This mixed format is even more important because there we can have, on the one hand, individual athletes getting the team feeling and the team spirit.

"But we can also do a lot to promote women's sport and to fight for gender equality in the Olympic Games and World Championships."

Bach also predicted judo would have particular success at Tokyo 2020 as the country is the "motherland" of the sport.

It represented rare public praise from the German for the sport following his public fallout with Vizer, who attacked Bach and the IOC in a speech at the SportAccord Convention in Sochi in 2015.

"Judo is an important part of the Olympic programme, and it will be even more so in Tokyo as Japan is the motherland of judo," he added.

"It will play an even more important role than it has at the Olympic Games so far."