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Judo factbox for Athens 2004

Posted: Sunday July 11, 2004 7:47PM; Updated: Sunday July 11, 2004 7:47PM
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ATHENS, July 9 (Reuters) -- Factbox on judo at the August 13-29 Athens Olympics:

HISTORY

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Judo, which means "the way of gentleness," was invented in Japan in 1882 by Jigoro Kano who adapted a variety of techniques from other martial arts to create a sport which could be contested without hurting participants.

A key principle of judo is to use the strength and size of an opponent to one's own advantage.

Judo's first world championships were held in 1956. Men's judo became the first Asian sport to be contested in the Olympics, at the 1964 Tokyo Games. Women's judo was added in Barcelona in 1992.

Although the Japanese have always done well at Olympic judo, Dutchman Antonius Geesink stunned the Tokyo Games by winning the men's open category. In the following decades, Russian athletes made their mark on the sport and since the 1980s South Korean judokas have also performed well.

EVENTS

Seven weight categories for men and seven for women.

Up to 386 athletes from 90 countries are expected in Athens.

2000 CHAMPIONS

Men

Extra-lightweight (under 60kg): Tadahiro Nomura (Japan)

Half-lightweight (60-66kg): Huseyin Ozkan (Turkey)

Lightweight (66-73kg): Giuseppe Maddaloni (Italy)

Half-middleweight (73-81kg): Makoto Takimoto (Japan)

Middleweight (81-90kg): Mark Huizinga (Netherlands)

Half-heavyweight (90-100kg): Kosei Inoue (Japan)

Heavyweight (over 100kg): David Douillet (France)

Women

Extra-lightweight (under 48kg): Ryoko Tamura (Japan)

Half-lightweight (48-52kg): Legna Verdecia (Cuba)

Lightweight (52-57kg): Isabel Fernandez (Spain)

Half-middleweight (57-63kg): Severine Vandenhende (France)

Middleweight (63-70kg): Sibelis Veranes (Cuba)

Half-heavyweight (70-78kg): Lin Tang (China)

Heavyweight (over 78kg): Hua Yuan (China)

OLYMPIC PROGRAMME

August 14: Men's and women's extra-lightweight

August 15: Men's and women's half-lightweight

August 16: Men's and women's lightweight

August 17: Men's and women's half-middleweight

August 18: Men's and women's middleweight

August 19: Men's and women's half-heavyweight

August 20: Men's and women's heavyweight

VENUE

Ano Liossia Olympic Hall in northwest Athens. The hall, which will also stage Olympic wrestling, will seat 9,000 spectators.

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

www.ijf.org

Copyright 2004 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.


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