Judo to start world rankings

Judo to start world rankings

The International Judo Federation has greenlighted the launch of a world ranking system that will also determine qualifying for the Olympic Games, according to the Yomiuri Shimbun.

Based on points won from the world championship and a new Grand Prix series that will kick off in January 2009, the IJF will award an Olympic berth to the top 20 of each weight class.
The decision was made at a board meeting in Bangkok on Sunday, and details will be finalized at the IJF extraordinary congress on Tuesday.
The Grand Prix series will be made up of world judo's major tournaments such as the Paris international in February and the Kano Cup at Tokyo in December. The IJF will grade the events on a scale of four to determine the point value of each tournament.
Points from the Grand Prix, combined with the results from the world championships, will determine the rank of each judoka.
The top 20 wrestlers of each weight category--but only one from any single country--automatically qualify for the Olympics.
The IJF also made a rule change Sunday, deciding to scrap the koka point from the judging.
Without koka, the federation anticipates a rise in the number of bouts ending in extra time on the golden point rule. As a countermeasure to the expected increase, the IJF slashed the length of extra time from five minutes to three.
The slew of changes arrives under the gaze of IJF president Marius Vizer, who is seeking to further commercialize the sport.
Beginning with the next election five years away, the IJF president will be allowed to nominate a majority of the board, which would strengthen Vizer's grip on world judo.

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