Heavyweight Or Sasson will lead Israel's home charge ©Getty Images

Israeli heavyweight Or Sasson will lead the home charge at the International Judo Federation (IJF) Tel Aviv Grand Prix, which begins tomorrow.

The competition is the first event of the season on the World Judo Tour, as the sport prepares for its "homecoming" at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Olympic bronze medallist Sasson captured the men's over-100 kilograms title in Tel Aviv last year and will be looking to repeat the trick in front of his own fans at Shlomo Arena.

Four Israeli athletes struck gold in all in Tel Aviv in 2019, when the city hosted a Grand Prix for the first time.

Shira Rishony will return in the women's under-48kg, while Timna Nelson-Levy is back in the women's under-57kg.

Reigning world champion Sagi Muki will not be able to defend his under-81kg title, however, due to injury.

Other talking points include a return for South Korea's 2018 under-73kg world champion An Chang-rim.

An has not seen action since April because of a neck injury and will be hoping to medal on his comeback.

Olympic champion Majlinda Kelmendi could increase her record number of Grand Prix wins ©Getty Images
Olympic champion Majlinda Kelmendi could increase her record number of Grand Prix wins ©Getty Images

In women's competition, Kosovo's Olympic gold medallist Majlinda Kelmendi will be looking to improve upon her record haul of 10 Grand Prix titles.

She won her country's first Olympic medal of any colour when she triumphed in the women's under-52kg division at Rio 2016.

Day one tomorrow features the men's 60kg and 66kg tournaments, with the women in action at 48kg, 52kg and 57kg.

Three days of competition are scheduled.

The Tel Aviv Grand Prix was announced for 2019 and 2020 following a row between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

In 2017, Israel's flag and national anthem was banned at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam as the UAE does not recognise the country.

The IJF suspended the event in response, but it was reinstated following reassurances from organisers.

Muki went on to grab gold in 2018 and IJF President Marius Vizer announced the Tel Aviv Grand Prix on the same day.

He said the world had been sent a "message of solidarity, friendship and peace".