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Judo at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Summer Games

2016 Summer Games: Previous Summer Games


Host City: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Date Started: August 6, 2016
Date Finished: August 6, 2016
Events: 14

Participants: 389 (237 men and 152 women) from 136 countries
Youngest Participant: AUS Joshua Katz (18 years, 221 days)
Oldest Participant: HON Ramón Pileta (39 years, 146 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): 56 athletes with 1 medal
Most Medals (Country): JPN Japan (12 medals)


The program of Olympic events in Judo had not changed since Sydney 2000, when some weight limits changed, but not the number of events. The following rules changes were implemented since the last Olympics in London 2012:

• A penalty no longer results in a score for the opponent.

• There is also no longer a time limit for the golden score period.

• The contest time for women was reduced from five (actual time) to four minutes (actual time).

The tournaments took place in the Carioca Arena 2 inside the Barra Olympic Park in Barra da Tijuca when 153 women and 237 men competed each in seven weight classes. The light classes of the men’s events had fields of up to 35 competitors, while only 17 women competed in the +78 kg class. Athletes came from 135 NOCs and the Refugee Olympic Team. The top 14 (women) and 22 (men) judoka, respectively, per weight category qualified according to the world ranking list of the International Judo Federation (IJF). The additional places were also awarded according to the ranking list, but allocated to the respective continent. The last places went to the home country and two to the Refugee Olympic Team. With Russian President Vladimir Putin being the honorary president of the International Judo Federation, nobody was surprised that the complete Russian team in this sport was allowed to take part in spite of doping allegations.

The final medal count in 2016 showed that more countries won medals than in London when 23 countries shared the 56 medals overall, whereas 27 countries collected medals in Rio. Only two countries collected more than three medals, Japan being the big winner with a haul of 12 medals (3 gold, 1 silver and 8 bronze) and France with five medals (2, 2, 1). The judoka from the sport’s motherland won a medal in all but two women’s events. The United States and host country Brazil held their top positions, while Italy improved its position with one gold and one silver. The Republic of Korea equaled their three medals from London but, unlike 2012, its athletes lost the two finals they contested. Maybe the most heralded gold medal was won by [Majlinda Kelmendi] from Kosovo in the women’s 52 kg class. The 25-year-old from the small country, previously part of former Yugoslavia, captured her country’s first medal on their Olympic début.