Judo at the Paralympic Games

Since the 1988 Paralympic Games in Seoul, Judo has been a competitive sport in the Paralympic program. Initially, Judo was a martial arts exercise, used for practicing mobility. 16 years after its men’s Paralympic debut, women’s weight classes were added, in Athens during 2004. Judo is played by athletes with visual impairments, and has a number of different weight categories, 7 for men and 6 for women. Male athletes must compete against each other for a maximum of 5 minutes, while female athletes compete for a maximum of 4.

The aim of the game is very simple, whoever scores the most points will win the contest. Scores range from 100 to 1, and include the ultimate ippon, waza-ari and yuko. The main objective is the “ultimate ippon”, which is achieved by throwing, holding or submission. If either opponent performs the “ultimate ippon”, they automatically win.

Penalties can also be given to athletes for a number of reasons, such as a foul. Any athlete who receives four penalties in a contest will automatically be disqualified. Hence, their opponent will win.

If both athletes are tied on scores or number of penalties, they will compete in a “golden score” format. There is no time limit, and there first person to score will win.

It is common for athletes that are part of the Paralympic and Olympic team, to combine their training together. This is the case for team GB, as they have an integrated plan.

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