Monthly Archives: February 2009

Paris Tournament, lessons learnt

So what has been learnt from the tournoi de Paris? Well firstly I definitely think we should have people meet judo spectators at the airport, I’m sure LOCOG will do this but I think we should ensure judo people are there, with some sort of goodies to get them in the mood. Secondly I would say wifi, free for everyone so that people can blog and use twitter etc to keep everyone up-to-date, it would also mean they could follow pools and draws easily.

Several other things come to mind-

  • Easy access to paper copies of the draw
  • In Paris the children were given little cards with players pictures so they could go autograph hunting, I think this was also good.
  • The announcers in Paris were also very good, made people want to watch.
  • The score boards gave people information on the fighters when the walked out, their best medal etc.
  • Good use of the interval with music, video and of course the judo gymnasts 🙂

I couldn’t finish without a mention for the crowd! The DJ guy in his little booth kept them going throughout and good tell when they needed some encouragement. He also ensured there was never long gaps when nothing was happening, for example at one point there was only one mat fighting and there was a medical on it, the DJ used this time to play so tunes and get the crowd going. There were mexican waves, lights, horns, all sorts.

Well, I guess the next big trip will be Rotterdam followed by the GB world cup. See you there!

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Paris Tournament, day 2 part 1

It’s not the interval between the eliminatory rounds and the semi finals. We once again had the judo/gymnastics guys, this time with a different show but just as entertaining.

I arrived slightly late today and one thing I noticed was just how quickly you can get in here. At the GB world cup in Birmingham they insist on checking you bags and they remove stuff like flasks saying they could be used as weapons, I find this ridiculous and today reinforces this.

Another thing I have noticed in the interval periods is the use of music, very loud music, from the live DJ that does the drums to get a response from the crowd during the fights. There has also been more paper aeroplanes today but I have yet to see one land on the mat.

One highlight today was the crowds reaction to Teddy Rinner, unbelievably noisy and then the fight went to golden score to eventually win by hantei – don;t British crowds get like this? OK, obviously we don’t have a Teddy Rinner but our crowds could be more passionate.

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Paris Tournament day 1, part 2

Well the judo is over and I’m back at my hotel. Unfortunately there is no wireless in Bercy stadium, another point for 2012! We need wireless.

This blog is not particularly about the judo but I have to say that Jan fought very well today and was unlucky not to win his second fight.

Overall the day continued well, shopping was good with plenty of different stools/stands to get stuff from and the seating was surprisingly comfortable compared to other venues but I think a “could do better” label will describe it well.

At most major championships they have a “half time” presentation type thing in the interval between the end of the preliminary rounds and the semi finals. In the 2003 worlds in Osaka this was a mix of traditional judo stuff and samauri stuff with some traditional drums, in Cairo, 2005, it was some traditional Egyptian dancing and drums (they wore their shoes on the mat causing chaos!), in the Rio (2007) there was quite a spectacle using using all sorts of music and dance but none of them were like today…… a mix of judo, gymnastics and dance by about 10 guys in judo kits. It was fun, looked great, and the crowed loved it! I loved it and I normal find these interval pieces quite boring. I only wish I had brought a camera because it would be on youtube by now!

The video screen was put to good use, it is a very clear picture and has a 5 second time delay. Obviously tends to focus on the French fights but was very useful.

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Paris Tournament day 1, part 1

I have just arrived at the Bercy stadium and it is an impressive building from the outside, very close to the metro which only cost me 1.50 euro. Entering the stadium is a bit of a judo geeks dream! There is much to buy, from t-shirts, judo kits just about anything judo and more! The arena is shown above, bright colours and very noises, especially when French players come on. The screen above the tatami has a delay of about 5 sec which is great because we all know you miss half the throws 🙂

Anyway more shopping beckons, so more blogging later.

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Paris Tournament 1

Everyone I have spoken too has said it is the best tournament with the best atmosphere in judo so i’m going to take a look.

Day one was travelling, most of the teambath people I am seeing here are travelling early Saturday morning but I thought I would leave on the Friday. I am writing this blog now from my hotel in Paris but have had quite a journey getting here! For those of you who cannot remember Friday 6th Feb just think of snow!! Yes that’s the day! I stood at the bus stop in Cambridge waiting for the coach and was informed there were no buses to Luton, not to panic I thought and promptly convinced some good looking ladies they should join me in a taxi and split the cost 🙂 Luton was chaos but eventually we flew and my journey began.

Arriving in Paris I had to do what every tourist does and navigate my way around the airport not understanding the language and to be honest this was relatively easy until I wanted to get the train to Bercy.  I wanted to use the train because it was the cheapest mode of transport and I figured this is what most people will also do in 2012. I found my way, managed to ask the right people and to be honest it wasn’t that much hassle but it did remind me of the 2003 world championships in Osaka. The Japanese had a “judo stand” at the airport, the world champs logo all over it and there were people there who spoke many languages to help you and start of your “judo souvenir collection.” This was just little stickers and some fans but it did make you glad you had arrived and you could wait to get to the stadium. So my first tip – lets put judo people in very airport, we can get volunteers, lets say if a club does two days in the 5 days that proceed the competition the club get ? free tickets. I would definitely take some of my players down to Stansted for a few days to give out stickers and stuff and advise people.

The next part of my journey was not fun! Finding the hotel was a mission, walked for well over an hour and to be honest I wish I had got a taxi !! Maybe the judo stand at the airport could give out free maps!!

Right Im off to bed, hopefully ready to have a fun day and some British medals tomorrow.

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