Visually impaired judo made a special debut during the 2015 European Games, which concluded on 28 June in Baku, Azerbaijan.
The European Olympic Committee, the European Judo Federation and the Azeri Organising Committee initiated the move, providing the same circumstances for the International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) judoka and able-bodied judoka.
The European Games presented two weight categories for visually impaired athletes.
The women’s -57kg class featured eight athletes. Gold went to Ukraine’s Inna Cherniak after victory over Azerbaijan’s Sabina Abdullayeva in the final. Bronze went to Germany’s Ramona Brussig and Ukraine’s Nataliya Nikolaychyk.
Seven judoka featured in the men’s -90kg. Ilham Zakiyev took gold, Ukraine’s Oleksandr Pominov the silver, whilst bronze went to Azerbaijan’s Zakir Mislimov and Russia’s Aleksandr Parasiuk.
The audience also gained more insight on IBSA Judo via a film showing off the sport.
Following the event, members of the IBSA Judo Committee were invited to the International Judo Federation (IJF) Congress to introduce IBSA Judo for the delegates of the member countries in August. IBSA Judo was also invited for a presentation at the Junior World Championships in October in Abu Dhabi, UAE.