Judo: Judo contests are a five-minute whi-rlwind combat, with athletes attempting a combination of throws and holds in a bid to defeat their opponents. Deve-loped from jujitsu and established as a sport in the late 19th century, athletes use an intricate mix of attack and defence. The sport’s one-on-one battles can be tough, tense and explosive, as competitors grapple for command against equally determined opponents.
Field of play
Judo contests are fought on a mat, or tatami. The mat is 14m x 14m, with a smaller contest area of 10m x 10m marked inside it.
Judo at Games
Judo made its first appearance as a medal sport at the Tokyo 1964 Games. The women’s competition was added to the programme at the Barcelona 1992 Games.
Much of the terminology of Judo is Japanese. Two athletes (judokas) gain points for throws and holds in a bid to beat their opponent. A contest lasts a maximum of five minutes, and the athlete with the highest score is the winner. The best score is ippon, which can be achieved for a throw, a hold, a strangle or an armlock. Other scores are waza-ari and yuko. These depend on the type of throw or how long a judoka can immobilise his/her opponent. The athletes stand 4m apart, facing each other on the tatami. The referee gets the contest underway by shouting ‘Hajime!’ and stops it by shouting ‘Matte!’
Athletes are divided into two groups. Competition is on a knockout system that eventually determines the two finalists. In each event, the four defeated quarter-finalists compete in two repec-hage contests. The winners then compete against the two defeated semi-finalists to determine the winners for the bronze. In the event of a tie, the match enters a golden score period of three minutes, when the first score wins.
A referee stays in the contest area, while two line judges sit just outside it to confirm refereeing decisions.
The Venue: ExCel