2019 may be drawing to a close but it promise to be a busy start to the New Year on the International Judo Federation (IJF) calendar ahead of next summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.
A total of 11 events are scheduled in the first half of 2020 which gets underway with the Tel Aviv Grand Prix in Israel from 23 to 25 January, this before two events in February. The first sees the Paris Grand Slam from 8 to 9 February, before the Dusseldorf Grand Slam from 21 to 23 February.
March is a particularly busy month with the Rabat Grand Prix from 6 to 8 March, closely followed by the Ekaterinaburg Grand Slam over 13 to 15 March. The month’s third event is a fortnight later with the Tbilisi Grand Prix, which is preceded by the Antalya Grand Prix from 3 to 5 April.
There is a breather over the Easter period before a return to action in May with first the Baku Grand Slam over 8 to 10 May and then the Doha Masters held across 28 to 30 May.
Olympic medal hopefuls then have their final preparations with the Budapest Grand Prix held between 12 and 14 June and the Hohhot Grand Prix over 26 and 28 June, before the Tokyo Olympics take shape across 25 July and 1 August
In other news, the IJF has announced it will continue its end-of-year tradition of awarding a prize money bonus to all 14 world number ones on the final IJF World Ranking List for 2019.
The bonus, which was first introduced in 2016, will see the world number one judoka in each of the 14 weight categories scoop a bonus of $10,000 each.
Ten different countries are represented on the list of 14 champion judoka with the final world numbers ones for 2019 being as follows: