IJF President Marius Vizer, right, was awarded with the eighth dan by the Executive Committee ©IJF

International Judo Federation (IJF) President Marius Vizer has been awarded the eighth dan at the organisation's Executive Committee meeting here prior to the World Championships.

The Romanian official was visibly emotional as he accepted what is the third-highest honour in the sport, saying it was particularly special as it was "coming from the judo family".

Judoka are ranked by their skill and knowledge of the sport and for higher grades their contribution to judo is also considered.

Vizer is in pursuit of joining an exclusive group of people have achieved the 10th dan as just 15 have been officially promoted to that rank in the history of judo.

The IJF President also addressed the Judo World Championships, due to run from tomorrow until October 14 in Tashkent, which Vizer hopes will lead to positive developments on and off the tatami.

"I believe that these World Championships are a great opportunity to promote Uzbekistan, not only on Uzbek territory, but also worldwide," said Vizer.

"Together we are going to promote the judo values such as friendship, unity and peace.

"I am sure it will be a successful event.

"To show our unity, I am pleased to welcome to our meeting, the President of the Uzbek Judo Federation, Mr Azizjon Kamilov, the secretary general of the Uzbek National Olympic Committee, Mr Oybek Kasimov and the chief executive of our sponsor and partner, Mr Max-Hervé George."

Gender Equality Commission head Sanda Čorak later took to the stand to discus ways of ensuring shared opportunities across the IJF.

The IJF Executive Committee met in Tashkent prior to the Judo World Championships ©IJF
The IJF Executive Committee met in Tashkent prior to the Judo World Championships ©IJF

The Croatian stressed the importance of creating Gender Equality Commissions within all National Federations.

Currently Čorak is one of only two female leads of commissions within the IJF, which has 14 such bodies.

Head referee director Florin Daniel Lascau also discussed the importance of maintaining consistency in how rules are applied at the Executive Committee meeting.

"There is only one judo around the world and this is our goal, to keep it that way from a refereeing rules perspective," Lascau said.

"We are doing our utmost to provide good refereeing from the cadets to the seniors, for the veterans or for the visually impaired competitors.

"Our mission is to implement and explain the 12 points of the modified refereeing rules and to prepare the next generation of referees.

"We also want to guarantee the neutrality of refereeing."

General treasurer Nasser Al Tamimi presented the body's financial situation at the meeting and claimed that, despite the impact of COVID-19 and the ongoing war in Ukraine, the IJF was in a good position and "remained on the right track."

Vizer then closed a meeting which he described as "intense and very positive".