By Duncan Mackay

Samsun Judo event posterMarch 29 - Turkey will have another opportunity to showcase its bid to host the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics when Samsun hosts the country's inaugural Judo Grand Prix.

The two-day event, which is due to start tomorrow in the Black Sea port, comes three days after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Evaluation Commission gave Istanbul a glowing  assessment following an inspection tour of the city's bid to stage the 2020 Games.

The event in Samsun will feature 320 judoka from 40 countries in the Tekkeköy Turkey Yasar East Sports Hall, newly constructed for the event.

"We've been making preparations for a long time with Turkish Judo Federation and Ministry of Sport," said Fatih Uysal, President of the Turkish Judo Federation.

"We wish you all a good competition in a very nice sports hall.

"We wish to work together with you to do a lot of judo in the sport.

"I wish you all a big success and welcome once again to Turkey."

The Grand Prix event is due to be held in Samsun each year in the build-up to Rio 2016.

"We're very happy to be here and we congratulate the Turkish Judo Federation for making this Grand Prix a reality," said Vlad Marinescuo, director of the International Judo Federation (IJF) Presidential Office.

"The event will be here four years and their work has been fantastic."

Samsun Judo press conferenceOfficials from the Turkish Judo Federation and International Judo Federation look ahead to the Grand Prix in Samsun

The event, third in the 2013 IJF Grand Prix circuit following events in Paris and Düsseldorf last month, will also be the latest test for the new rules introduced after London 2012.

"We are moving in a good direction for the future," said Jan Snijders, the IJF refereeing director.

"We are improving judo and, as we've said, we will review the testing rules after World Championships in Rio de Janeiro late this year."

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