How do you qualify to participate in Olympic Judo? How does the world ranking system contribute to a Judoka's qualifications? What power does a country have to select its participants?

  • 2
    It would be good to refer to a particular country because the choosing between athletes that qualify due to world rank / competition points does differ between federations Aug 25, 2022 at 6:36

2 Answers 2


According to this page on the 2020 Olympics:

The first way to qualify for the Olympics, is to be one of the best judokas in the world, and be among the top 18 in the IJF's rankings. All best 18 of all categories have an automatic bid to the Olympics, unless there are two athletes from the same country in those positions. In that case, the country's Olympic Committee will determine who gets the spot. Athletes who are not in the world's top 18 in their weight categories can still qualify through a continental quota.

For 2024, it looks like the same system is in place, but with a lower total of 372 judokas rather than 386.

The quotas for Paris 2024 will be allocated in line with the IJF World Ranking list during the Olympic Qualification period. It means all World Tour events held between 24 June 2022 and 23 June 2024 will impact the quota allocation. At the end of this period, for each of the seven weight categories, the top 17 countries represented in the world ranking will each receive a quota.

Following that, 100 quotas will be allocated based on continental representation. Each continent has a certain number of quota places that are allotted to athletes with the highest number of points, regardless of gender and weight category, with a limit of one continental quota per NOC.

Each continent also has one Team Invitation place. This quota place can help a team that only has five athletes qualified for Paris 2024 to qualify a sixth athlete, in order to build a team for the mixed team event.

Finally, 15 quota places will be allocated by a tripartite commission following the principle of universality.

The highest number of athletes an NOC can qualify to the Olympic Games Paris 2024 in judo is 14 (one per weight category).

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    In Germany, as far as I am aware, the coaching staff and ultimately the head coach decide who is going to the Olympics and other major tounaments with participation restrictions when two (or more but that is not a thing for Germany) athletes of the same weight class qualify. Aug 26, 2022 at 7:23

An athlete competes in the International Judo Federation (IJF) world tour and accumulates points based on finish from IJF ranking.

IJF has a document describing qualification for Paris 2024.

  1. The top 17 athletes in each weight category qualify directly, subject to the limit of 1 athlete per country.

  2. Athletes across all weight categories and genders are ranked according to their World Ranking points, and the top athletes from continents qualify:

Continent Men Women Total
Africa 12 12 24
Europe 13 12 25
Asia 10 10 20
Oceania 5 5 10
Pan America 10 11 21
Total 50 50 100

• Maximum one (1) athlete per NOC can qualify through continental qualification across all weight categories and genders.

• If a continent fails to use its full allocation, any remaining quota place will be allocated according to the IJF World Ranking List of the Olympic Qualification period to the highest ranked athlete not yet qualified, irrespective of the continent, in the respective gender, respecting the maximum quota of one (1) athlete per NOC per event.

  1. Team qualification: each continent can send one additional athlete for a country that can almost field a team (6 athletes) but has qualified only 5.

  2. Host Country: the host country (France) automatically qualifies one athlete for each gender weight category.

  3. There are 15 universality places. These are not well described, but I presume these are spots for athletes from un/under-represented countries who would not otherwise qualify for the event.

If a country qualifies more than one athlete in a weight category in the top 17, that country has to choose who goes. Recent examples for the Tokyo Olympics included:

  1. Maruyama v. Abe There was a match to decide who went to the Tokyo Olympics.
  2. Klimkait and Deguchi was decided by finishes at the World Championships.

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