Gavino Piredda, middle, receives the eighth dan honour from IJF President Marius Vizer, left, and Mayor of Olbia Settimo Nizzi ©IJF

A key figure in the organisation of judo events in the Sardinian city of Olbia has received one of the sport’s highest honours.

Gavino Piredda has been promoted to eighth dan by the Italian Judo Federation (FIJLKAM) in recognition of his contribution to the sport.

Born in 1944, Piredda started judo in 1963 before becoming a black belt in 1980.

The Italian then turned his attention to working as a judo technician, particularly focusing on kata.

In 2017, Piredda was the head of the Organising Committee for the IJF Veterans World Championships in Olbia before leading the team in charge of the Junior World Championships four years later.

Piredda had previously become the first judoka to be awarded the seventh dan in Sardinia.

FIJLKAM President Domenico Falcone praised Gavino Piredda for his
FIJLKAM President Domenico Falcone praised Gavino Piredda for his "great intelligence" and "professionalism" ©IJF

FIJLKAM President Domenico Falcone hailed the work of Piredda as he presented him with the eighth dan.

"[This honour comes] with deep and sincere gratitude for the generous commitment to the Federation in over 40 years of activity, first as a judo technician and later as a federal executive, both activities carried out with great intelligence, professionalism, absolute righteousness and always inspired by a total adherence to the highest values of sport and Olympic ideals," said Falcone.

International Judo Federation (IJF) President Marius Vizer also praised Piredda who is a member of the IJF Kata Commission.

"On behalf of the International Judo Federation, I would like to congratulate you on being awarded the eighth dan," said Vizer.

"This grade represents the recognition of your career, dedication and contribution to the development of judo and the promotion of its values. I wish you good health, continued success and fulfilment in your future endeavours."