Judo at the Tokyo Games will comprise 15 medal events:
- Men’s 60kg
- Men’s 66kg
- Men’s 73kg
- Men’s 81kg
- Men’s 90kg
- Men’s 100kg
- Men’s 100+kg
- Women’s 48kg
- Women’s 52kg
- Women’s 57kg
- Women’s 63kg
- Women’s 70kg
- Women’s 78kg
- Women’s 78+kg
- Mixed Team
Judo, which means “gentle way,” originated in Japan and has been a reliable source of Olympic success for the 2020 host nation. Japan’s collection of total medals (84) and gold medals (39) are by far the most, with France (49 total, 14 gold) a distant second.
386 judokas (193 men, 193 women) compete across 14 weight classes (seven for men, seven for women), with approximately 28 judokas in each weight class.
The top eight in each weight class are seeded based on their IJF (International Judo Federation) world rankings.
While the full judo program lasts eight days, each individual weight class unfolds in just one day. One men’s and one women’s event takes place each day (progressing from the lightest weight classes to the heaviest), followed by the mixed team event on the last day.
The tournament is direct elimination until the quarterfinals.
The four quarterfinal losers proceed to the repechage (second-chance bracket), where they face the other quarterfinal loser from the same side of the bracket. The two quarterfinal repechage winners then face the semifinal loser from the opposite side of the bracket, and the winners of those two matches are awarded bronze medals (two bronze medals are awarded).
The two semifinal winners face each other for the gold medal.
Each match takes place over a single four-minute period, or until one judoka scores the following:
- Throwing an opponent on his or her back with strength, speed and control
- Holding an opponent down for 20 seconds
- When an opponent gives up due to an arm-lock or choking
Two scores of waza-ari
- Throwing an opponent with control, but not to the extent of an ippon
- Holding an opponent down for 10-19 seconds
- A major rule infringement, which also results in expulsion from the tournament
- Three shidos (minor rule infringements), which result in a hansoku-make
- A hansoku-make results in victory for the opponent
There are no designated rest periods within a match. However, the referee will stop the clock during breaks in the action to ensure that the athletes compete for the full four minutes. For example, when an athlete steps out of bounds, the clock is stopped until both athletes return inside the contest area or to their starting positions.
If a match has not been decided when four minutes run out, it proceeds to golden score, which has no time limit. Golden score usually ends within a few minutes, but in extreme cases can last upwards of ten minutes. The first judoka to score an ippon or waza-ari wins. Shidos carry over to golden score, so if a judoka receives a third shido, that also ends the match.
Mixed Team Event
2020 marks the Olympic debut for the judo mixed team event.
- A minimum of 12 teams compete. Each team selects judokas who qualified for the individual competition to compete across six weight categories (three men and three women)
- Men: 73 kg, 90 kg, 90+ kg
- Women: 57 kg, 70 kg, 70+ kg
- Teams are drawn into a bracket to start the competition, with the top four teams seeded based on their IJF team world rankings. Teams face off against each other, with all six judokas from one team competing against the six judokas from the other team
- Judokas can go up in weight class (for instance, a woman who competed in 52 kg in the individual event can compete in 57 kg in the mixed team event)
- The same individual match rules apply to the matches in the team competition
- Each of the six individual matches counts as one point. If the score is tied at three, one of the six weight categories is chosen at random, and judokas in that class face off in a seventh match to decide which team wins. This seventh match begins immediately as golden score
- The tournament is direct elimination until the quarterfinals. The four quarterfinal losers proceed to the repechage (“second chance”) bracket, where they face the other quarterfinal loser from the same side of the bracket. The two quarterfinal repechage winners then face the semifinal loser from the opposite side of the bracket, and the winners of those two matches are awarded bronze medals (two bronze medals are awarded). The two semifinal winners face each other for the gold medal