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Oh the 2016 Rio Olympic Games seem to be everywhere in the news now. MAKEACHAMP is extremely lucky to have helped fund many Judo Olympians to the 2016 Olympic Games. Everyone wants to go, but who will qualify? The qualification procedure is slightly confusing and differs for every single sport. With a bit of research, we've laid out the procedure for the sport of judo.


Who Qualifies for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games for judo?

The qualification guidelines for the Olympic Games in Rio 2016 for judo are as follows :

Men: For each of the seven weight categories (-60kg,-66kg,-73kg,-81kg,-90kg,-100kg,+100kg), the first 22 athletes ranked on the IJF World Ranking List of 30 May 2016 will be directly qualified, with a maximum of one athlete per NOC per weight category.

Women: For each of the seven weight categories, the first 14 athletes ranked on the IJF World Ranking List of 30 May 2016 will be directly qualified, with a maximum of one athlete per NOC per weight category.

In other words, to qualify as a man, you have to be top 22 in the world on the IJF World ranking list by May 2016, and as a woman you need to be top 14 by the same date. However, in the case that two people from the same country have qualified, only one of them can be selected in order to make room for another country to send an athlete.

What if there are two athletes from the same country in the top 22 in the world?

This means that if there are 2 Japanese in the top 22 in a men's division, only one will be allowed to go. This means that the individual ranked 23rd will now be in the top 22. Each country has their own qualification system to choose which one of the two or three athletes will be chosen

Continental quotas

Also, every continent gets additional spots. The Pan-American continent gets 14 extra spots for men, and 7 for women, to send to the Olympics. This means that an additional two men will compete in each men’s division and one woman will compete in each women’s division.

You can see the current Olympic standings here


How do the points work?

   The list below illustrates this hierarchy, starting with the the World Cups, which offer the lowest amount of points and no cash prize.

  1. World Cups (Continental Opens)

  2. Grand Prix

  3. Continental championships (closed to only those in countries on that continent)

  4. Grand Slams

  5. World Championships (no world Championships on the same year as Olympics)

  6. Olympic Games

Below you can see the amount of points that are awarded based on results and standing received at the competition.


Lifetime of points

The interesting part of the point system above is that only the five best results during each 12 month period will count + one extra (6th) result. Also, it is important to note that within 12 months of the tournaments, you keep 100% of the points acquired; however, after 12 months following the tournament, the points acquired are reduced to 50%. This has an impact on the Olympic qualifications, because the points acquired in May 2015 will be reduced to 50% by the Olympic qualification deadline, while points acquired in June 2015 will count at 100%.


Participation - how does a country choose who will participate?

Participation is limited in each every. 4 athletes from a country are allowed to participate at a world cup but only 2 are allowed to go to a Grand Prix or Grand Slam. The result is that each country needs to have their own qualification system in order to determine which athletes can go. The only country’s qualification system that I am knowledgeable about is Canada’s. Below is a chart that Canadian athletes follow to collect "Judo Canada points". The athletes that are ranked above others will 



Judo Canada’s points have a lifetime of 12 months and Judo Canada also selects your top 6 results. The only difference really is that Judo Canada points differ from the Olympic points.


   The qualification procedure is a difficult one. It is very demanding on the athletes’ bodies and often on their bank accounts. As a result, it is sometimes not the best athlete that qualifies but the one who is able to persevere through the physical and financial struggles. Also it's important to note that every country has a different qualification and funding budget.