IJF Grand Masters World Championships 2012
USA Judo deserves major kudos for stepping in at the last minute and hosting the IJF 4th Grand Masters World Championships. Little did anyone know how big this event would become, but the writing was on the wall when pre-registrations jumped quickly to 500, then 600, and by October had climbed to approximately 800. Final count was 684 men and 75 women from 46 countries and all five judo unions.
Registration day on Wednesday, November 7th, at Trump’s luxurious Doral Resort & Spa in Miami, Florida, was a hive of activity as players from all over the world lined to register, collected credentials, weighed in, and had back patches sewn on. With so many nationalities and languages, when competition began the following day, USA Judo’s director of athlete development, Ed Liddie, had his work cut out ensuring athletes heard their call to the mat. It seemed he spent most of the first day chasing down Russians and Mongolians who did not speak English, but fortunately officials were very accommodating, understanding that these veterans had spent a lot of money to attend this epic event.
The championship was well supported by the European Union and Panamerican Confederation, with 81 competitors coming from Russia, 75 from France, 41 from Germany, 30 from Mongolia, 29 from Italy, 76 from Brazil, and 35 from Argentina. The U.S. had 178 entrants with 169 men and 9 women.
Russia led the medal count from Day 1 with a grand total of 22 Gold; second was Germany with 6 Gold. The United States, France, Brazil, Italy and Mongolia each took 4 Gold medals. The U.S. also took 9 Silver, 21 Bronze, and thirty-three 5th places.
To round out the event, U.S. Masters Bert Mackey and Sandy North were honored for their contributions to Masters judo, with awards presented by USA Judo CEO Jose H. Rodriguez, and IJF Masters Director Andras Bondor
For a complete list of results and statistics, see http://www.ippon.org or on the IJF Veterans facebook page