Wednesday, June 25, 2014

An innovative way to compete

What if you happened to be born in a country where the judo is very competitive and it's very difficult to make the national team? You can struggle on and try to reach the top but if you're No. 2, you won't be able to go to many international competitions and you certainly won't have a chance to go to the Olympics.

In the past, there were many good players who got frustrated because the No. 1 player in their division, in their country, was just too dominant. They never got a chance.

Imagine how it was for Japan's No. 2 players in the -48kg division during  the years when Japan's Ryoko Tani was competing at the global level (1991 through 2008).

Basically for about 18 years there was no chance for anyone else in that category in Japan to compete at the world stage. Japan's other -48kg players only managed to emerge after Tani retired from competition.


Today, some judo players have found an innovative way to get around this problem. They switch countries! 100 Percent Judo recently highlighted the story of how the Dutch player Elea de Gans (or rather, Elea Gansova) competes for Czech Republic. There are other players who have done something similar, which is highlighted in the insightful 100 Percent Judo article.

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