Judo

Japan to keep qualified judo team in place for 2021

Kyodo

Judoka already named to Japan's 2020 Olympic team will not have to qualify again for the games that have been postponed until 2021, the All Japan Judo Federation decided Friday.

The body's development and executive committees, meeting online in an extraordinary session, rejected calls to select new members for the games that will not start until July 23, 2021. Instead, the committees settled on a policy of going with the 13 judoka who have been already selected.

Some within the federation had expressed a belief that Japan would have a better chance of winning gold medals in 2021 if it did not simply stick with those chosen to represent the Olympic host nation this summer.

The team's only remaining vacancy is in the men's 66-kg division. That berth had been whittled down to two candidates — reigning world champion Joshiro Maruyama and former world champion Hifumi Abe — who were set for a winner-take-all bout at the All-Japan Weight Class Championships last month, prior to its postponement.

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