Judoka get first chance to be classified under new system
Date: December 16, 2021
The International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) Judo has published details of the first of a number of events where judoka can be classified under the new system for the sport, which comes into force on 1 January 2022.
The Egyptian Pyramids International Judo Championships between 22-29 March in Alexandria, Egypt, will offer classification for athletes. The competition will also feature the new medal programme for judo.
The updated classification system will see athletes split into two classes. J1 will be for athletes who are partially sighted and J2 for athletes who are blind.
A four-year research project, carried out by the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam as part of meeting the International Paralympic Committee’s (IPC) Classification Code, concluded that judoka should compete in two separate groups and the minimum impairment criteria should be raised.
An 18-month community consultation – the biggest ever undertaken by IBSA – followed, involving hundreds of athletes, coaches, referees, classifiers and IBSA members.
From this the new IBSA Judo Classification Rules were drafted and a further round of consultation was held with the same groups invited to feedback. The rules are now being finalised and will be published shortly.
Following the review, the IPC also revised the judo medal events for the Paralympic Games. Changes were made to the weight categories, but overall three more medal events were added and the number of athletes who can compete at the Games was increased.
Now there will be 16 golds up for grabs at Paris 2024 – eight each for men and women, split into four each for J1 and J2. Thirty ‘gender-free’ slots, which will allow for the development of the sport as it settles into its new classification system, have been reserved for judo by the IPC. This means that the overall quota has increased by 10.