Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina are expected to challenge North Korea for the 2018 World Junior Championships ©Twitter

North Korea is set to face opposition from Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina to host the 2017 World Junior Championships, International Judo Federation (IJF) President Marius Vizer has said today.

The official, who was participating in a live question and answer session on Twitter, also revealed how Paris, Tokyo, Kazan, Baku and Cairo are all in contention to host the 2018 and 2019 senior-level World Championships.

Three of these cities have hosted the sport's showpiece event before, with Paris having done so twice, in 1997 and 2011. 

Tokyo hosted the previous edition in 2010, and would be looking to host the event as part of its preparations for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games, while Cairo played host in 2005.

Baku and Kazan are also experienced judo hosts, with the Azerbaijani capital having hosted the European Championships and European Games judo competitions in 2015, while the Russian city is due to host this year's continental event.

Houston in United States, host of last year's World Weightlifting Championships, is also "probably" bidding, Vizer added, with the specific year each is aiming for not yet revealed.

This could follow a junior event in North Korea in 2017, which would make judo the first Olympic sport to hold a major event in the nation since the World Table Tennis Championships were held there in 1979,

Vizer travelled to Pyongyang last year and reiterated today that they have "all the facilities and conditions to organise the 2017 Junior Worlds".

Marius Vizer ending today's question and answer session on Twitter ©Twitter
Marius Vizer ending today's question and answer session on Twitter ©Twitter

Visiting the Asian nation would be a gamble, however, and both Bosnia and Herzegovina and particularly Slovenia, which hosted the European Championships in Maribor in 2002, would be safer, if less historic, choices.

A final decision should be made by the IJF Executive Committee prior to the Rio 2016 Olympics.

Vizer, the former SportAccord President, answered virtually every question in a forthright and speedy manner this afternoon, in an innovative use of social media which other International Federations would do well to emulate.

He cited the delivery of a "successful event for judo in Rio 2016 and through that" as a priority for this year to "prove the capacity and contribution of our sport to the Olympic Movement and to show that judo is one of the best sports".

He also promised a new version of the IJF website before August's Olympic Games, and vowed to push for the addition of team judo events at the Tokyo 2020 Games once the International Olympic Committee (IOC) opens the process to add new sports.