Saeid Mollaei

The Court of Arbitration for Sport has annulled International Judo Federation sanctions against the country of Iran over that nation preventing its athletes from competing against athletes from Israel. The IJF indefinitely suspended Iran from all international events following the defection of Iranian 2018 world champion Saeid Mollaei who claimed he had been pressured by officials from his country to lose a semifinal match at the 2019 world championships rather than meet an Israeli in the finals.

Though the court ruled Iran had committed severe violations of IJF rules and that sanctions should be imposed on them, they said an unlimited suspension was not within the sporting body's regulations. They referred the case back to the IJF Disciplinary Commission for further consideration.

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Photo Courtesy: Dawson Holt via Instagram

The 2021 Diamond Nationals took place on October 8th and 9th, the first time the prestigious event has been hosted since 2019. World class competitors gathered in Minneapolis, Minnesota to test their skills in forms, weapons, point sparring, and more.

In the early 2010's, Ken Warner (otherwise known as ZenInc on YouTube) always shared his "Top Five" on Facebook after major sport karate events. Reflecting on these posts has inspired me to write a top five article of my own for the Diamond Nationals, and I plan to continue writing these articles after each tournament I attend. Special thanks to Ken Warner for his contributions to documenting sport karate history. Without further ado, here is Jackson's Five for the Diamond Nationals.

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