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Oberwart says farewell to European Open in 2020
9 Sep 2019 13:00
A long tradition will end in Austria. Since the beginning of the World Cup circuit Austria was organizer of a World Cup event, that first started as A-tournaments and now called Continental Open.
The city of Oberwart is since 2011 organiser of the European Open in Austria, before Oberwart it was Vienna and Leonding but 2020 will be the last edition of these events.
In the midst of the crisis of the Austrian Judo Association (ÖJV) announced that the home tournament 2020 will be held for the last time in Oberwart. The good part is that the World Championships will take place in Austria in 2021.
The wobbly financing of the Heim-WM 2021 in Vienna blew up the board of the Austrian Judo Association (ÖJV) last weekend.
The European Open, the only world ranking tournament on Austrian soil, will take place for the last time in Oberwart in the current form.
The reasons given by chief organizer Roland Poiger on the one hand lack of hotel capacity during the semester break and the low importance of the tournament series. The International Judo Federation claimed and organized all major events held in Europe and only left the European Opens to the European Judo Union. "The starter numbers are clearly declining," explains Poiger. The European Open is only organized for men or women, this year the women came to Oberwart, next year the men. "The hotels are usually full in this popular region and it's not easy to organise rooms for everyone each year, but we will give it another boost in 2020 as the demand is high to organise such event."
Presidential election will decide the direction
Whether this tournament is held in Austria or in which form, is open. In October there will be new President elections at the Austrian Federation. The support from the state of Burgenland is unrivaled but the event swims in between a good junior tournament or a level up at Grand Prix level. The EJU had lost all of its major events to the IJF and either a choice will have to be made to lower the ambitions or step up. It will depend on the direction of the likely new President.
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