Judo Olympic Qualification System

Qualification for the 2012 Olympics has been changed to go directly to a judoka, not to a nation. What this means is there will no longer be Olympic Trials for judo. Here are some key details:

  • Top 22 men and top 14 women in the world ranking for each category will automatically qualify.
  • Only one judoka per category per country. This means if there are 2 or more male judoka from the same country in the same category that are in the top 22 of the world, that country chooses which one of them goes.
  • That accounts for 252 spots. Then 100 more spots are allocated based on the world ranking within each continent, with at most one athlete per country. This is done to guarantee that at least 100 different nations are represented in the Olympics.
  • 14 more places are given to the organizing country (England in this case).
  • Last 20 places are reserved for invitation (covering special cases, probably when national politics gets involved).

Here’s a link to a very clear PDF with a few more details.

0 thoughts on “Judo Olympic Qualification System

  1. Eric

    I would just like to point out that this rule change was put in place with the specific purpose of keeping ME OUT! They know they cannot compete with me so the man is beating me down with the brute stick of discrimination!

    I WILL NOT BE DETERRED!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Nick

    I am confused , I thought this change was made to filter out low level judokas from olympic. Doest it mean that even if you ranked 89 but country choose to send you to games you will compete there? Cuz at the moment from USA only Stevens , Delpopolo, Harrison are good enough to be there or someone else will be there too?

  3. Jimbo

    I understand the wish to have many nations compete, but it is an absolute shame that in many categories one of the top 3 judokas in the world are not allowed to compete while others ranked in the 100s will. In most other individual sports 2 or even 3 from the same nation are allowed to compete if they qualify (track and field etc). In some cases the world champions will not be at the games so the winner may not be the best in the world.

    1. Lex Post author

      Good point. They are obviously worried that one or two countries start dominating the games, but I think that’s no longer as much of a concern as it was in the early days of judo in the Olympics.

  4. silverpie

    The 20 invitation places are for something called the Tripartite Commission. They are reserved for the countries with small teams (no more than 12 total, across all sports, in Athens and Beijing combined).

    1. Lex Post author

      Thanks for clarifying that. Very interesting. I think that helps give the wild underdogs a chance to make magic happen on the biggest stage.


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