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Judo is a priority sport, will enhance capacity: Kiren Rijiju

Judo is a priority sport, will enhance capacity: Kiren Rijiju
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Highlights

Indian Judo team will be participating in the Budapest Grand Slam -- which contributes to the Olympic qualification -- between October 23 and October 25. This will be the first tournament that the Indian judokas will be playing since the nationwide lockdown was imposed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Indian Judo team will be participating in the Budapest Grand Slam -- which contributes to the Olympic qualification -- between October 23 and October 25. This will be the first tournament that the Indian judokas will be playing since the nationwide lockdown was imposed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ahead of the departure for Hungary, Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju on Monday met the contingent which comprises five judokas -- Tulika Mann, Avtar Singh, Vijay Yadav, Jasleen Singh Saini and Sushila Devi -- and coach Jiwan Sharma.

The Sports Minister wished the contingent luck for the tournament and said preparations are in place to ensure that a strong talent pool emerges for the 2024 and 2028 Olympics.

"The team is leaving for Hungary today and I am hopeful that some of the athletes will qualify. Judo is a priority sport for us and we will enhance capacity both in terms of training facilities and coaches," said Rijiju.

"The idea is to extend full support to the elite athletes while building up a talent pool of young athletes who can compete in the Olympics of 2024 and 2028. We will discuss a more exhaustive roadmap with the federation and plan ahead," he added. Jasleen, world number 56 and a good prospect to qualify for next year's Olympics, said, "This will be the first tournament we will be played after the Covid-19 lockdown."

Around 645 competitors from around 81 countries will be participating in this tournament and the contingent is enthusiastic to be back in action in competitive sport after such a long break.

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