The second largest judo tournament in the Netherlands will be held this weekend in Enschede Dijkmanhall. About 1,200 judokas, from various European countries, will compete on the tatami during the Twente Open Judo Championship. For the Dutch and Swiss participants, among others, there is more at stake than simply winning the tournament.
While nearly nine hundred judokas took part in last year’s Twente Open Judo Championships, the number was around 1,200 this weekend. Committee Chairman Henry Kooyman can explain this increase. “Last year we still had to deal with some of the after-effects of coronavirus. At that time I saw that the number of participants was somewhat lower in all tournaments.
Of the nearly 1,200 participants, about 350 will come from abroad this weekend. “Where did they come from? Denmark, Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium, Turkey, Greece, Austria, Switzerland, Ukraine and Estonia,” says Kooijman. “Algerian judokas were also supposed to come, but they did not receive the visa in time. In terms of promoting the tournament, we mainly focused on On the outside. Because we want to have a strong field of participants.
Kooyman knows why the tournament is so popular. “Saturday’s championship is one of two record moments for judokas in the age group up to 17 years set by the Dutch Judo Federation.” About four hundred judo players participate in this. He added: “After our tournament, the national coach will announce who will be allowed to participate in the European Cup matches for the Netherlands next year. This year, our tournament was also chosen by the Swiss Judo Federation to serve as a moment of choice for Swiss judokas.”
“On Sunday, another eight hundred judokas will participate in the Twente Open Judo Championships (under-12, under-15 and seniors). It is particularly popular because it is a strong and well-organised tournament. There are not many tournaments for seniors in the Netherlands. Many come Germans also come to Enschede on Sundays.
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Twenty judokas, including Jelly Snipe and Hilde Jäger, have performed well for years, both at national and international levels. They will be present at the tournament this weekend as special guests. Only Carlos Blatier Luna, a former judoka and TV show winner Expedition Robinson.
The organization of the tournament is in the hands of Top Judo Twente, Judo Promotion Twente and the Judosport Oost Foundation. The public is welcome. Entrance is 5 euros, and children under 12 have free entry. Matches will be held on Saturday from approximately 9 am to 4 pm, and on Sunday from approximately 9 am to 6 pm.
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