For the first time in its history, Kazakhstan will host the 2019 World Judo Championships Cadets, a major judo tournament organized by the International Judo Federation.
“We are grateful to the International Judo Federation for entrusting us to host the World Championships,” Askhat Zhitkeev, who heads Kazakhstan’s Judo Federation, said Monday according to the organization’s official website.
Twenty million individuals across the globe practice judo, making the combat sport that originated in Japan one of the world’s most popular of its kind. The 2019 World Judo Championships Cadets will see roughly 500 male and female athletes under age 17 from around the world come to Kazakhstan and compete over a two-day period, from September 25-28, in Almaty.
This year’s event will be the third of its kind since 2015, when the organizers first launched the tournament. Zhitkeev says the upcoming championship will be a landmark event for what is the world’s ninth largest country.
“The World Championships is associated with the development and popularization of children’s judo in Kazakhstan and the strengthening of relations between the countries. I also believe that in the future this will help prepare judo wrestlers who will compete for our country,” Zhitkeev said Monday.
While hosting World Judo Championships Cadets will be a first for Kazakhstan, hosting other major judo competitions is not. Previously, Kazakhstan held some of the world’s largest judo competitions, including World Championships Seniors 2015, and a series of grand prix and world cups.
Meanwhile, other major competitions are yet to come. Kazakhstan will host the 2019 Senior Wrestling World Championships, an annual wrestling tournament organized by United World Wrestling, from September 14–22. That event will serve as the first qualifying meet for the 2020 Olympic Summer Games in Tokyo. The top six finishers in each Olympic weight category in Astana will secure an Olympic qualification for their country. In addition, Kazakhstan will play a host to the 2019 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division I Group A, which is played amongst second-tier teams.