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New wave of athletes switch nations in advance of IJFs blockbuster event
7 Aug 2019 15:10
The Judo World Championships will set new records in participants. The registration period is over and so far, 898 athletes are noted representing 152 countries, spread over the five continents. The record of 2011 in Paris will be improved. At those World Championships 131 countries were present and 865 athletes fought for the 56 medals.
However going a bit deeper, you can understand the strategy of the number of nations. Judo is widely spread and the diversity is good. Same as in Paris, one year for the 2012 Olympics, you see that a lot of athletes switched nation hoping to qualify for the Olympic Games or hoping for a wild card.
The IJF have approved a number of switches to give athletes a chance to compete and it stimulates the number of countries. 23 Nations are about to send one athlete. Most are funded by the IJF. Recently we a new video in the series ‘ Judo for the world’ was published, about Solomon Islands and Kiribati and both nations have one participant. Jamaica have one participant, the former British talent Ebony Drysdale Daley who was runner-up at the 2014 Junior World Championships and 2016 European Open in Glasgow. So that implicates that world-wide judo becomes more stronger.
Despite the usual changes of nations like Italy to San Marino and France to Monaco there are lots of exotic surprises. Previously JudoInside reported about the switch from Germany’s Marie Branser to the DR of Congo. Also we have Tal Almog from Israel to Argentina for this occasion. Frenchman Remi Reuillet fights for Mauritius. Japanese born Masayuki Terada for Thailand.
Thanks to the help of the IJF, through its refugee support program, a number of athletes will participate in Tokyo under the Refugee Olympic Team (ROT) nine athletes will start in Tokyo.
Nine countries will start with the full team of 18 judoka, France is the next nation with 17 athletes excluding Teddy Riner while the registration has past, so formally no space for judo’s icon.
A little more patience and millions of fans and media around the world will only have eyes for judo during 8 days, in a competition format that will be exactly the same as the Tokyo 2020 Games: 7 days of individual tournament and one day dedicated to the mixed team tournament. Judo will start shortly in Tokyo, in the exact same place where Judo entered the Olympic program in 1964, the Nippon Budokan, and where the world's best will try to win the Olympic title again in 2020.
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