28 June 2024


Olympic Games Judo 2024


30 days to go… Exactly one month from today, the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Paris will take place. The following day, the judo tournament will begin in the Champ de Mars arena. The anticipation is growing. High tension seems guaranteed: 372 athletes are eligible to compete. A total of 15 medal decisions are on the programme over eight days of competition (27.07. – 11.08., 7 women’s, 7 men’s weight classes, 1 mixed team competition). At the last Olympic Games in Tokyo, Europe won a total of 32 medals, five of which were gold. All five European gold medallists from 2021 (Distria KRASNIQI/KOS/-52, Nora GJAKOVA/KOS/-57, Clarisse AGBEGNENOU/FRA/-63, Lasha BEKAURI/GEO/-90, Lukas KRPALEK/CZE/+100) are aiming to defend their titles in France.

EJU Vice-President Catarina RODRIGUES (POR) analyses the (European) results and performances at the World Championships in Abu Dhabi and dares to take a sporting look ahead to the upcoming Summer Games. As the (highest) sports official at the EJU, she has all the facts and figures at her fingertips. Taking stock – seen through the European (judo) lens.

The Olympic results of 2021 should not be repeated in this form so quickly. Based on the results of the last three years, we do not expect Japan to be able to repeat the dominance of Tokyo – with 9 out of 14 possible (individual) gold medals. Although Team Nippon only competed without the big names at the 2024 World Championships, it was once again number one in the medal table – with 3 x gold, 2 x silver and 4 x bronze. Japan will turn up in Paris with a nominally much stronger team. However, many top stars such as DICKO, GJAKOVA, KRASNIQI and RINNER have also been missing on the European side recently. It will be interesting to see which path is the right one in the end.

The facts and figures speak in favour of an (at least partial) trend reversal towards Europe: no fewer than 10 (out of 14) top seeds at the Olympics come from Europe. Eight current European world champions from Abu Dhabi are travelling to the Champ de Mars arena with the red back number. Of the 112 seeded athletes in Paris, no fewer than 64 are of European origin. There are at least five seeded judoka or more in seven weight categories. In the categories up to 52 kg and up to 70 kg, there are even seven out of eight, which means – to put it simply – it will be a duel between Europe and Japan.

The technical and physical level of the fights was already really high at the World Championships at the beginning of June. We can expect a further improvement in Paris, predicts Catarina Rodrigues.

The most important (European) facts/findings from Abu Dhabi clearly summarised:

A tally of 31 European (Olympic) medals, eight of them gold, would be welcomed with a kiss on the hand in Paris. In any case, there should be more gold medals (5) than in Tokyo in 2021.

Author: EJU Media