USA Judo, the National Governing Body for the Olympic sport of Judo in the United States, has announced that the International Judo Federation World Cup which will serve as a qualifier for the 2012 London Summer Olympic Games will be held August 27-28th at the Doral Golf Resort & Spa.
This prestigious World Cup for the sport of Judo is presented with the support of the Miami-Dade Sports Commission, Miami-Dade County Commissioner and Miami-Dade Sports Commission Chairman Jose “Pepe” Diaz, and the City of Doral and Mayor Juan Carlos Bermudez.
The first World Cup ever to be held in the United States will attract more than 300 Olympic caliber athletes from at least 30 nations.
Participating countries include Russia, Korea, Ukraine, Australia, Portugal, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Colombia, Peru, Puerto Rico, France, Dominican Republic, and the United States. Athletes from these countries will be attempting to earn points to qualify for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games to be held in London.
“I am proud to welcome such a prestigious event to our community,” said Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz. “It is truly exciting that we will all be able to witness these athletes going after their Olympic dreams right here in our own backyard.”
The USA World Cup will be nationally televised thanks to an agreement between USA Judo and The United States Olympic Committee (USOC). The first showing will take place on September 1st on Versussports network with later showings on Comcast Sports Channel.
“We are proud to host these international athletes for such a significant event in the City of Doral,” said Doral Mayor Juan Carlos Bermudez. “The competition is sure to be a resounding success and provide a lasting legacy for our City.”
All delegations will be staying at the Doral Golf Resort & Spa with actual competition taking place in the Legends Ballroom on the resort property.
The World Cup will include athletes competing in seven (7) men’s and seven (7) women’s weight divisions.
Competition will begin at 9:00 a.m. with athletes fighting in preliminaries until 3:30 p.m. Semifinals and bronze and gold medal matches will begin at 6:35 p.m. each day. On August 27, the Opening Ceremony will be held at 6:00 p.m. Due to the exclusivity of the venue, seating will be limited to 600 spectators.
“The level of competition at this World Cup will be as good as in any Olympic Games”, said Jose Humberto Rodriguez, CEO of USA Judo, “We are very appreciative for the support that we have received from the City of Doral, Miami Dade County, the Miami-Dade Sports Commission, and the Greater Miami Convention & Visitor’s Bureau in order to make this Judo World Cup happen in Miami. It is always very easy to have a successful event in Miami because it is an easy sell to the countries and the athletes.”
The City of Miami has been home to numerous international judo tournaments in the past, including the 2008 Pan American Championships and the 2006 U.S. Open Championships.
“We are looking forward to this World Cup both this year as well as next year in Miami. Florida, and Miami in particular, is very knowledgeable about our sport and I just know that they will be appreciative of the level of Judo they will see,” said Mr. Lance Nading, President USA Judo. “We thank the International Judo Federation for having the trust to place this great Olympic Qualifying event in our country.”
Following the World Cup, the U.S. Open will be held on August 29 at the same site with most of the athletes who participated at the World Cup facing off once again. Competition for the U.S. Open will begin at 9:00 a.m. with finals to follow at the conclusion of each weight division.
An additional event – the North / Central American Championships – will be held on August 30 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
“From a sports standpoint, judo is the second most practiced sport in the world and we are thrilled to be hosting their World Cup,” said Mike Sophia, Executive Director of the MDSC. “From an economic standpoint, this event represents a huge tourism generating event for Miami, and it is a tremendous piece of summer business for this community.”