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International Judo Federation

International Judo Federation
Address Residence Ouchy
Avenue de la Harpe 49
1007 Lausanne

Switzerland
Phone +36 1 302 72 70
Fax +36 1 302 72 71
Email president@ijf.org
Website http://www.ijf.org

The International Judo Federation was founded in 1951. Judo’s Olympic debut came at the 1964 Tokyo Games.

Expanded programme

Judo has grown and developed as an Olympic sport. It is the first Olympic sport to have originated in Asia, with Dr Jigoro Kano being the first Asian IOC member. When it debuted at the 1964 Tokyo Games, it was a men-only discipline and there were just four weight classes. However since 1992, men and women have competed in seven weight classes each; the men’s contests last five minutes whilst women’s contests last four.  

Knockout tournament

Competitors (“Judoka”) take part in a single-elimination tournament after being divided into two pools by a draw. An unusual twist is that there are two bronze medals.

Bronze medallists

The two losing semi-finalists move directly into the semi-finals of the competition for bronze. All other competitors who lost to the two finalists compete in a knockout tournament within their original pools, and two winners emerge to fill the remaining semi-final spots. Each pool’s winner then faces the losing semi-finalist from the opposite pool, and the two winners compete for the bronze.

Japan dominant

The sport, not surprisingly, has been dominated by the Japanese, who have won three times as many gold medals as their nearest rival France. Other strong countries in Judo today are Korea, Russia, China, Brazil and Cuba.