Sport week: History of judo

The sport was introduced to the Paralympic programme at Seoul 1988 with six men’s events, whilst women made their debut at Athens 2004. 02 Jun 2016
Athletes in a judo competition Beijing 2008.

Athletes in a judo competition at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games.


Judo became the first sport of Asian origin to be included in the Paralympic Games when it was introduced at Seoul 1988, with six men events being contested. Great Britain’s Simon Jackson (-60kg) won the first Paralympic gold medal in history.

Japan dominated the Barcelona 1992 judo competition by winning three golds, whilst Jackson retained the Paralympic title. The British judoka won his third and last gold medal at Atlanta 1996, where Brazil’s Antonio Tenorio secured the first of his four successive Paralympic titles.

Cuba burst onto the judo scene at Sydney 2000, claiming two golds. Sergio Arturo Perez won the up to 60kg category, whilst teammate Rafael Cruz Alonso sealed the men’s -81kg title.

Six women’s events were added to the programme at Athens 2004, being France’s Karima Medjeded (-48kg) the first female judoka to win a Paralympic gold medal.

At Beijing 2008, hosts China equalled Japan’s Seoul 1988 record by winning four judo golds at a single Paralympic Games.

Four years later in London, Ukraine topped the Paralympic medal table with three judo titles, whilst Germany’s Carmen Brussig won the gold in the up to 48kg category only 15 minutes before her twin sister Ramona did in the up to 52kg.

Japan tops the all-time medal table, with 12 golds, six silver and six bronze.

In Rio, seven men’s (-60kg, -66kg, -73kg, -81kg, -90kg, -100kg and 100+kg) and six women’s (-48kg, -52kg, -57kg, -63kg, -70kg and 70+kg) medal events will be contested.

Editor’s note: Each sport on the Rio 2016 Paralympic programme will have a dedicated week of featured content published on Every week a new sport will be featured and the series will run until September’s Games, helping the public understand more about the 22 sports being contested in Rio.


Sport fans from around the world can now buy their Paralympic tickets for Rio 2016 from authorised ticket resellers (ATRs)

The IPC’s Global ATR is Jet Set Sports, and Rio 2016 tickets and packages can be purchased on the CoSport website.

Residents of Brazil can buy 2016 Paralympics tickets directly from the Rio 2016 website.