Following an insight in to the entire calendar leading up to the 2024 Paris Olympic Games, covering all levels of competition, education, refereeing and more, it’s time to take a look at the Olympic quest in detail.
There are 10 events remain on the IJF World Tour that hold qualification points for the Olympic Games, an assortment of Grand Prix, Grand Slams and a world championships to conclude the race. However, on a continental level, there are Opens as well as Continental Championships. So with that being said, those that might be in the qualification spots at this very moment, are not safe, and those trailing, have ample time to catch up and make their dream a reality.
We know this can happen and have seen it, whether it be qualifying with points, or besting a national rival for the place, there are occasions where making it in those final moments can mean eternal glory. In the 2016 run for the Rio Olympic Games, the now decorated Fabio BASILE of Italy was a pleasant surprise as he managed it in the nick of time, and then stunned the world by taking the gold medal in the -66kg category. For Lasha BEKAURI (GEO), it was a race against Beka GVINIASHVILI, decided in the last European Championships in Lisbon, Portugal before heading to Tokyo. Incredibly, the pair reached the final, knowing what was on the line. In the end, as we now know, Bekauri succeeded and entered Georgian history books in the -90kg category with his Olympic win.
So what do the points systems look like?
The world ranking points works as most likely guessed, the higher the level of competition, the greater the prize. Conquering a Continental Open event will gain the victor 100 points which will later sound like a small amount in comparison to the IJF World Tour, however, every point counts and even winning a first round can earn you 10. Every little helps.
Of course, a Continental Championships carries greater weight, with a whopping 700 points for the title holder, which is equivalent to that of a Grand Prix gold. The Grand Slam knocks it up a notch to 1000 for the winner, then moving to the World Championships, the points will double to an eye-watering 2000. A win in Abu Dhabi could be life altering for someone a bit further down in the ranks.
Where to next? The first event with qualification points in 2024 is the Portugal Grand Prix in the last weekend of this month, and though the level is already high, some will be holding out for the Paris Grand Slam the following weekend.
For a full run down of the qualification points system, the IJF have a table displaying each event here.
Don’t be fooled in to thinking it’s so simple though, there are multiple avenues to qualify, including continental quota positions or nations that are eligible for universality places, better known as wild cards.
Author: Thea Cowen