The European Judo Championships have been held annually by the European Judo Union since 1951. The 2016 event will take place from April 21 to 24, at the Tatneft Arena multi-purpose sports and concert venue in Kazan.
As many as 477 athletes from 46 countries will take part in the event, competing for 16 sets of medals.
The Russian team is made up of 28 men and 16 women, including three Olympic champions, 10 honoured masters of sports and 17 masters of sports of international class, who come from 22 regions of the Russian Federation.
The Kazan championships are one of the final qualifying stages for the Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
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Speech at the opening ceremony of the 2016 European Judo Championship
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Ladies and gentlemen, the 2016 European Judo Championships 2016 kicks off today in one of Russia’s most beautiful cities, the capital of Tatarstan. I am happy to welcome the competitors, their coaches, judges, all the professionals and fans of this wonderful sport.
I would like need to say a special word of thanks to Kazan and Tatarstan for the organisation of this sporting event. You obviously know what sport is, you love it and know how to organise large-scale sporting events.
Martial arts are generally very popular in Russia, including here in Tatarstan, especially judo, as in many other countries.
Its visual attraction appeal and the wealth of techniques used are makeing it a really beautiful sport. The philosophy behind this martial art, based on the harmony of mind and body, teaches courage, perseverance, respect for the opponent, persistence in achieving goals, and gives one a real fighting spirit.
The high strong results unfailingly demonstrated by our judo fighters contributehelp, to a large extent, to the promoteion of judo in our country. We are proud of their skills, and expecting new victories – both in the individual and team competitions.
So let us now wish success to all the athletes, all the participants of the competition. And may the best man win!
I declare the 2016 European Judo Championships 2016 in Kazan open!