• Men (7 events): 60kg, 66kg, 73kg, 81kg, 90kg, 100kg, +100kg

  • Women (7 events): 48kg, 52kg, 57kg, 63kg, 70kg, 78kg, +78kg


Contestants are split into two knockout groups, the winners of the two groups then face off for the gold. Those Judokas beaten by the finalists then play off for two bronze medals.



Japan's Jigoro Kano creates judo.


First official judo championships are held in Japan.


First men's world championships are held in Tokyo.


Appearance of judo at the Olympic Games in Tokyo with 4 categories.

October 23, 1964

Judo makes its Olympic debut at the Games in Tokyo. Holland's Anton Geesink beats Japan's Akio Kaminaga in the final of the Open category. For Japan, it is a great humiliation.


Judo is recognised definitively as an Olympic sport in Munich after being absent from the Games in 1968.


Women's judo features at the Games for the first time in Barcelona.


Yasuhiro Yamashita (Japan)

A legend. Unbeaten over a seven-year period in which he was Olympic champion in the Open category and heavyweight world champion three times (1979, 1981, 1983) and Open category once (1981). After a series of 203 victories from October 1977, he retired in 1985.

David Douillet (France)

One of the greatest. Olympic champion in 1996 and 2000 and triple heavyweight world champion in 1993, 1995 and 1997 and once in the open. The Frenchman weighs in at 125kg and has won it all.

Ryoko Tamura (Japan)

Miss Judo. At just 16-years-old she won an Olympic silver in 1992, a feat she repeated in 1996 before taking gold at both Sydney in 2000 and Athens 2004. She has therefore disputed the judo final in the 48kg category since its introduction as an Olympic sport. She was world champion six successive times between 1993 and 2003 and holds a very special place in the hearts of Japanese sports fans.