The International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) Judo has announced that a Grand Prix in Baku, Azerbaijan, will mark a return to competition for the sport from 24-25 May.
The competition will also be a qualifier for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
Norbert Biro, Chair of the sport’s committee, said: “The last year has been a long road full of ups and downs, including re-scheduling competitions only for it not to be possible for them to go ahead.
“We are grateful to the Local Organising Committee – the National Paralympic Committee of Azerbaijan - for their flexibility and commitment to hosting this hugely important event. We are of course also thankful to the judo community for their understanding and patience while we have been working on starting to get the calendar back on track. We are excited that Baku 2021 will mark the return to competition after a long wait.
“As before we will be liaising closely with organisers on ensuring the safety of participants, based around the Back to Competition Guidelines we released in 2020, and monitoring the situation very closely.”
The President of the Azerbaijan National Paralympic Committee, Mr. Rahimov Ilgar, said: "The government of Azerbaijan is pursuing an effective policy in the fight against COVID-19, which has led to favourable conditions for such events.”
The Grand Prix in Baku, which was on the original qualification schedule for Tokyo 2020, had to be postponed last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Following a request from IBSA Judo, it was subsequently included in the revised qualification process published by the International Paralympic Committee in mid-2020. This process has recently been revised slightly again in 2021 by adding one month to the qualification window which was due to close in May.
The last official IBSA Judo competition was the 2020 American Championships in Montreal, Canada, in January 2020.