On the eve of the Qazaqstan Barysy Grand Slam 2024, a grand sports event was held in Karagandy, a first time of its kind in Kazakhstan’s history, thanks to the personal initiative of Mr Almaz Alsenov, president of Jenys Professional Judo Club. A free masterclass was held at the sports school attended by the two-time Olympic champion, six-time world champion (individual and mixed teams) Shohei Ono.

The masterclass attracted great interest among more than judo enthusiasts. In the sports centre hall, young judoka greeted Ono with applause, while a ‘Shashu’ ceremony was performed in line with Kazakh traditions.

“I wanted to tell the participants to have faith in your dream and it will definitely come true,” welcomed Almaz Alsenov.

The Director General of the International Judo Federation, Mr Vlad Marinescu, was also present. He welcomed Karagandy residents and wished everyone good luck.

The coach of the national team of Kazakhstan, Mr Sergey Rakov, organised the warm-up before the master class. Then Shohei Ono demonstrated judo movements and tactics and showed his unique techniques.

The second part of the event was more informal. Shohei Ono gave autographs, talked and took photos with the participants and the audience. It is worth noting that all the children were delighted with the masterclass of the global judo star.

“I witnessed that the Karagandy judoka have excellent fitness. Of course they need to work in a focused way, they need to work hard to reach the top. I hope they will work and train with even more enthusiasm,” said Ono.

The Olympic champion also noted that to reach the highest heights in judo, a child must first of all have a desire. Everything else is possible through training.

“Our club aims to write history and the invitation accepted by Mr Ono is genuine history. The purpose of this event is certainly an opportunity to learn from the invaluable experience and skills of the judo legend and pass them on to our children. As you know, the president of Jenys Club is a native of Karagandy and today’s sports event was another important contribution of Almaz to the development of judo in his hometown,” commented Timur Tursumbayev, advisor to the president of Jenys Judo Club.

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