The International Judo Federation (IJF) has awarded hosting rights to the next four editions of its showpiece World Judo Masters competition to Guangzhou in China.
Guangzhou will stage the season-ending event this year, as well as in 2019, 2021 and 2022. The IJF will not run the competition in 2020 due to judo events at the summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.
The invite-only Masters tournament is open to the top-16 ranked judoka in each weight category. The event offers the most World Ranking List points on the World Judo Tour after the World Championships.
St. Petersburg in Russia hosted the most recent edition of the Masters last year.
Xian Dongmei, president of the China Judo Association and two-time Olympic judo gold medallist, said: “In March 2018 we had a meeting with the IJF president Marius Vizer in Budapest and we said that the China Judo Association would like to host more top-level judo events.
“We will stage this special event in Guangzhou because we have a vast country and our Grand Prix in Hohhot is in the north so we needed an event in the south.
“Guangzhou is highly-developed city with a good structure and transport links and we hope to host a very successful series of Masters events that can help us to learn and develop as an Association.”