As in other sports, Grand Slam events are one of the most important events in which many judo legends have participated. The Tokyo Judo Grand Slam event, organized by the International Judo Federation, is one of the tournaments in the series of grand slam events that include the Olympics, World Championships and World Masters.
This year alone has seen seven Grand Slam tournaments with different categories for judokas. For the Tokyo event formerly known as the Jigoro Kano Cup Tokyo International Judo Tournament, there are several judo sportsbooks available that make it easy to enjoy and be entertained by the different weight classes.
The Tokyo Grand Slam is an international, fun and competitive judo tournament scheduled for December 3-4, about a fortnight away. The event, which is one of a kind, will be held at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium and will see the faces of 316 competitors consisting of 194 men and 122 women.
The Host – Japan
The hosts being Japan, are among the most successful in the judo tournament and also have a significant history related to judo and a similar sport called sumo wrestling. So it’s always nice to see a country like Japan that finds judo valuable and cultural as a host. This year’s event will certainly not be the last, as plans are already underway to ensure the event is held well into 2022 and beyond.
The judokas, who will be participating, will be looking to go all the way to ensure they get maximum points for their ranking and also win a medal if possible. In the guide, we break down the best judokas and the expectations we have for them in the tournament.
Currently number one in the world with 6134 points in total, Bobonov Davlat is a formidable opponent to face in any judo competition, and Uzbekistan is expected to win a medal at the Tokyo tournament, having secured the gold, silver and bronze at the big slam event this year. The Judoka who fights in the 90 kg category was drawn against twenty-five other contingents.
Rakhimov Temur is also number one in the +100kg category and is another top player to watch. For this year’s event, he will be looking to represent Tajikistan and do better than the bronze medal he won at the previous Grand Slam event. For this year’s tournament in Tokyo, Rakhimov will be looking to triumph over thirteen other heavyweights.
Tsend-ochir Tsogtbaatar from Mongolia is another skilled judoka to add to the watch list. Besides being a top professional, he is currently the number two fighter in the 73 kg category. Tsend-ochir, from Mongolia, is looking to build up his form for the tournament after finishing first at the Tashkent 2022 Senior World Championships, held in October.
There are also female judokas to watch
Among the women, Miriam Butkereit, originally from Germany, is one hell of a fighter. She currently fights in 70 kg and polls 720 points, having obtained the 5th position at the Tashkent 2022 Senior World Championships. In the previous Grand Slam championship this year, she finished on the podium, coming in 3rd place.
Miriam’s compatriot Anna Maria Wagner is also looking to nurture hope for her country’s performances in the 78kg mixed and individual weight class. She currently sits second in the world judo rankings despite finishing seventh at the Tashkent 2022 Senior World Championships.
The prize money, as officially available, was €154,000. It is expected that 137 competitors will be jostling in different weight classes for Gold, Silver and Bronze. As a reward, the gold medalist will receive €4,000, the silver €2,400 and the bronze €1,200. At the same time, the coaches of each medalist receive €1000, €600 and €300 respectively.
Just before the Tokyo Grand Slam Championship, there will be the European Club Championships, the Men’s and Women’s Champions League. No points to win for the World Ranking but the team spirit is always there.