The 2019 IJF World Junior Championships are set to begin tomorrow ©IJF

The 2019 International Judo Federation (IJF) World Junior Championships begin tomorrow, with 517 competitors from 81 countries competing in Marrakech.

Action at the Moroccan city's venue, Chapiteau - Quartier Agdal, is due to run to Sunday (October 20).

Four days of individual competition will be followed by a mixed team event.

The field is made up of 294 men and 223 women, with the official draw held today. 

"The competition which is about to take place in Morocco is an important and major milestone for the athletes that, for sure, we will see on the international scene in the years to come," Florin Daniel Lascau, an IJF sport director, said.

"A few weeks ago, we had the Cadet World Championships.

"This was already a very interesting event.

"In the cadet division, you can win a medal because you are very talented.

"In the juniors, you need to be talented, but you also need to work very hard to reach the top level.

"We have many examples of cadets and junior world medallists, who later on in their career became world and Olympic medallists.

"I am convinced that among the athletes who will compete in Marrakech we are building the generation for the Paris 2024 Games."

The official draw for the event took place today ©IJF
The official draw for the event took place today ©IJF

During his welcome speech, Moroccan Judo Federation President Chafik Elkettani, said: "It is a great pleasure to welcome you in Morocco on the occasion of this edition of the Junior World Championships, organised under the patronage and with the personal support of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, to whom we express our gratitude.

"Africa and the Kingdom of Morocco, which is a country of tolerance and peace, are proud and honoured to host so many athletes from so many different countries in the mythic city of Marrakech, one of the greatest historical capitals of the north of Africa and in the Mediterranean region.

"This is the second time that Morocco hosts a junior World Championships. 

"The first time was in Agadir in 2010 and this was made possible thanks to the support of the IJF President, Marius Vizer, who since the beginning, has been committed to the universality of judo and the development of our sport all over the world and especially in Africa.

"This is what judo for the world means."

Armen Bagdasarov, an IJF sport director who was in charge of the technical aspects of the draw, added: "Those younger age categories are crucial for the athletes to build their mental and psychological capacities to face future challenges. 

"Of course winning a medal here in Marrakech will be very important, but this is only the beginning of the way to the top level. 

"We have examples of competitors, who didn't necessarily win a gold medal at the Cadet and Junior World Championships, but later on they were among the top-level athletes.

"They definitely used those competitions to get ready for the future."

Watch all the action on Judo TV.