Britain's judokas secured a bronze and a silver at London 2012, a fantastic achievement given the difficult circumstances leading into the Games.
Ben Quilter finished 5th in Beijing and had set himself the target of gold in London. Preparations went well: after winning the 2009 World Games Championships, Quilter became Britain’s first judoka with a visual impairment to be crowned World Champion for 12 years when he won that title in 2010, and went on to take his first European title in 2011 on home soil in Crawley, UK.
Sam Ingram, who had been ParalympicsGB's sole medallist in Beijing in the -90kg category, was also hotly tipped for gold. Ingram was also on form, having sealed an impressive European gold at the same 2011 Championships.
But seven weeks before the Games began, an accident during routine training resulted in severe damage to Quilter's knee. His hope of gold was all but over. Despite the circumstances Quilter battled on, only losing his opening match and winning all his others, to secure bronze. Meanwhile Ingram missed out on gold by the narrowest of margins, instead bringing home silver after losing to Jorge Hierrezuelo Marcillis of Cuba in the final.
The team for London was also boosted by the selection of Joe Ingram, Dan Powell and Marc Powell, all of whom secured valuable experience for Rio.
- First year at a Paralympic Games:
- Seoul 1988 (men)
Athens 2004 (women)
- Brief history:
- Judo is the only martial art in the Paralympic Games. It’s all about gripping, throws and holds.
- Eligible impairment groups:
- All athletes who have a visual impairment are eligible
- London medal table:
- 1 - Ukraine (three gold, zero silver, two bronze)
2 - Cuba (two gold, zero silver, two bronze)
3 - Azerbaijan (two gold, zero silver, one bronze)
11 = Great Britain (one silver, one bronze)
- GB medals in London:
- Sam Ingram, silver, -90kg
Ben Quilter, bronze, -60kg
- Did you know:
- The disabled squad is fully integrated with the non-disabled squad and train together at the British Judo Performance Institute in Dartford
- London 2012 venue:
- Rio 2016 venue:
- Rio Olympic Park (Barra Zone)
Each competition is based on weight divisions – there are seven for men and six for women.
Men’s events are -60kg, -66kg, -73kg, -81kg, -90kg, -100kg, +100kg.
Events for women are -48kg, -52kg, -57kg, -63kg, -70kg, +70kg.
The rules are the same as in Olympic Judo, only the two judokas start gripping each other rather than apart.
Each contest takes place over a maximum of five minutes. A judoka can win a contest by using a successful technique, such as a throw or hold.
A technique that achieves the ultimate score, an ippon, wins the contest. However, if neither achieves an ippon during the contest, the player who has accumulated the greatest number of points, achieved through throws and holds such as a yuko and a waza-ari, by the end of the bout is declared the winner. Two waza-ari also make an ippon.
If there is no score at the end of a contest, it goes to a ‘golden score’, where the first person to score wins. If there is still no score after a further three minutes, the referee and the two judges determine the winner on a majority decision.
Judo at the Paralympic Games is for athletes with a visual impairment. Each class is ‘open’ with players from B1, B2 and B3 classes competing against each other in the same grouping in each weight category.
If an athlete has a red circle on their kit, it indicates that athlete has a B1 level of visual impairment. If an athlete has a blue circle on their kit, it indicates that athlete is deaf as well as having a visual impairment.
In Judo the degree of visual impairment does not affect athletic performance because each match starts with the judoka taking grip of their opponent.