The 2019 International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) Judo Asian and Oceanian Championships will round-off the 2019 regional calendar in Atyrau, Kazakhstan, from Friday (6 September).
More than 100 judoka will take to the mat for titles and the chance to improve their place in the world rankings on the road to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.
Olzhas Orazalyuly stars for the hosts in the men’s up to 60kg as the reigning world title holder. Orazalyuly also left the IBSA Judo Grand Prix in Baku, Azerbaijan, and Paralympic qualifier in Fort Wayne, USA, with medals.
However one of his main opponents will be Uzbekistan’s Paralympic champion Sherzod Namozov. The 27-year-old will be hoping to keep his impeccable regional record going.
Namozov has finished on top of the podium at every IBSA Judo Asian and Oceanian Championships and Asian Para Games since 2014. He also claimed bronze at last year’s World Championships.
The men’s up to 66kg will feature another Kazakhstan medal hope as Azamat Turumbetov aims to improve on his silver medal from two years ago in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
Uzbekistan’s Utkirjon Nigmatov is another top contender as the Paralympic champion and Worlds bronze medallist.
India’s Jaydeepkumar Hridaya Singh will also be hoping to equal or better his bronze performance from 2017.
At Tashkent 2017 Uzbekistan left with three gold medals, one of which came from Paralympic bronze medallist Feruz Sayidov in the men’s up to 73kg. Sayidov has since gone on to become the world champion.
Kazakhstan could grab a podium spot here too - Temirzhan Daulet is a silver medallist from the last edition.
Fans can expect a heavyweight showdown in the men’s over 100kg.
Iranian world champion Mohammadreza Kheirollahzadeh could face South Korea’s up to 100kg Paralympic title holder Gwan Geun Choi. Uzbekistan’s Worlds bronze medallist Shirin Sharipov adds to the top quality field.
In the women’s a series of the world’s best judoka from China and Uzbekistan are the main attraction.
China’s world champion Hongyu Wang will once again try to use her towering height to secure gold. Her teammate Li Liqing highlights the other end of the weight spectrum as the Paralympic gold medallist in the women’s up to 48kg.
Uzbek judoka Vasileva Aliboeva is a Worlds podium finisher and defending champion in the women’s up to 70kg.
Nafisa Sheripboeva has made the move up from the up to 57kg where she secured victory two years ago. Asian champion teammate Sevinch Salaeva has stuck with the up to 52kg and will go for gold once again.
The 2019 IBSA Judo Asian and Oceanian Championships run from 6-8 September and feature individual and team events.
Results will be available at the IBSA Judo website and live coverage will be shown on IBSA's YouTube channel.