On May 31st 2014, the qualification period for the Rio2016 Judo tournament began. This is the start for the nations and athletes of the final build-up to the pinnacle event in Judo, the Olympic Games. And this site will be following along closely and exploring the numbers. The qualification system for Rio2016 is similar to that of London2012, in simple terms the 22 men and top 14 women in the world get entry into the games. Then a quota system is used to select players from the ranking list from a wide variety of nations. As with the last Olympic cycle, the IJF Senior World Ranking List is the most important element in an athletes qualification chances.
As with the last cycle we expect to see players approach qualification in different ways. Teams struggled with qualification last cycle and no doubt will again. Although we hope that they have a better understanding of the system than last time around. Only the British have an excuse for not understanding it as last time round they did not need to qualify players; this time the Brazilians have that advantage.
The WRL also affects the seeding at each event, and for the games itself. As such, it is really important for athletes to monitor the WRL and manage their entries to try and get as high on the list as they need to be. The next 6 months will be interesting to see how the better teams have chosen to distribute the athletes. We have seen many of the big names getting rehab since London and many have obviously been taking time out and getting set for the trials and traumas that follow.
I personally am very interested in how strategic entry into events affects the WRL. So, stay tuned as this site will try and be very active for the next two years leading up to Rio2016. A new resource is available to us now also, the newly launched IJF http://judobase.org site contains the absolute best data direct from the IJF on every event (its a IJF only http://judoinside.com ).