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Top 8 Study, Callan & Lascau, 2013

Olympic Qualification Top 8 Study

This paper was presented at the 8th International Judo Research Symposium in Rio de Janeiro, September 2013.

The contents of the poster are pasted below:


The study focussed on the Top 8 players in the International Judo Federation World Ranking List, used for direct qualification to the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The seeds for the Olympic Games draw.

Analysis of the WRL prior to the 2 year qualification period shows how a player can rise in the WRL.

The study considered which nations were successful in qualifying seeded players for London 2012.

Callan & Lascau


The sample of 134 judoka (unclean list, May 2012) was drawn from the official IJF lists of qualifiers, it includes all players who were seeded for the OG.

Previous results of the sample were tracked using the databases on, (Van Essen, 2012), and, (Wicks, 2012). This reports all individual matches for players competing in the OQ events since May 2010. It is an important source in relation to the concept of valuable wins.


In the WRL immediately prior to the OQ period.
12 players (9%) from the sample were ranked no. 1

45% of the sample was ranked in the Top 8 before OQ.
55% of the players managed to enter into the Top 8 during the OQ period. These 55% were split;
38% ranked 9 – 30
10% ranked 31 – 99
7% ranked outside the top 100.

31 nations were represented in the sample.

Women 24 nations,
6 nations qualified 4 or more in Top 8
JPN 13, BRA 8, CHN 6, FRA 4, KOR 4, MGL 4
39 of 66 places (59%)

Men 22 nations,
7 nations qualified 4 or more in Top 8
JPN 11, RUS 11, KOR 6, FRA 5, UZB 5, BRA 5, MGL 4
47 of 68 places (69%)

Olympic medals at London Games (M&W):
31 of 56 by Top 1-4 (55%)
11 of 56 by Top 5-8 (20%)
14 of 56 by others (25%)
Consistent across Men and Women categories


75% of Olympic Medals were won by Top 8 players

40% of the Top 8 were previous medallists in the World Junior Championships

Japan, Russia, France, Brazil and Korea. The most successful performance judo systems.

Top 8 are efficient with their points collection. Some events count more than others, ie. the concept of “Valuable Wins”

92 players in the sample (68%) who improved their WRL placing, made an average improvement of 28 places over the 2 years.


Fischer, M., 2012. The IJF 252 direct Qualification Places (provisional) for the London Olympics. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 28 May 2012].

International Judo Federation, 2012. IJF Olympic Qualification List - London Olympic Games 2012 JUDO, by category, Budapest: IJF.

International Judo Federation, 2012. IJF Olympic Qualification List - London Olympic Games 2012 JUDO, by nation, Budapest: IJF.

Van Essen, H., 2012. Judoinside. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 28 May 2012].

Wicks, L., 2012. Research on World Judo List. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 28 May 2012].


Dr Mike Callan:
Florin Daniel Lascau:

Rio Symposium

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