A Step Toward Gender Balance at the Olympics

9
June
2017

Montreal, June 9, 2017 – For the very first time, an equal number of men and women will compete in judo at the summer Olympic Games. In a move that will significantly increase gender parity, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board approved the event program for the 2020 Tokyo Games on Friday.

The International Judo Federation is one of six international federations (along with rowing, canoe, weightlifting, shooting, and sailing) that will send an equal number of male and female athletes to the Summer Games for the first time.

The news was warmly received by Judo Canada. “We strongly support male-female balance because all of our programs are based on that premise. It’s much more appropriate,” declared Nicolas Gill, Chief Executive Officer of Judo Canada.

In order to ensure that the sexes are equally represented, the executive board approved the recommendations of the Olympic Program Commission regarding the number of athletes per sport. There will therefore be a transfer of 38 judokas for 2020.

“To ensure that males and females are equally represented, they proposed that the 18 best judokas of each sex in the world rankings be selected for the Games. Currently, it’s the 22 best males and the 14 best females, which is unequal. Changing the quotas will obviously make it a little tougher for males to qualify, and a little easier for females,” added Gill.

New Mixed Events

In addition to the changes promoting gender balance, there will be new mixed team judo events in 2020.

“This will create additional opportunities to compete in the Olympics and could increase the number of medals for Canada. There has never been an official international mixed tournament, but the mixed event was introduced at the two first editions of the Youth Olympic Games. Those tournaments served as a testing ground for the event’s format. It is very likely that the first senior mixed event will take place at the World Championships in Budapest in August 2017.”

The Tokyo Olympic Games will take place from July 24 to August 9, 2020 in Japan.

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Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada
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