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Japan leads Virtual Medal Table for Rio 2016
15 Dec 2015 09:10
The IJF World Tour 2015 is over, time for the awards of the best players, but also time to analyse the current virtual medal table in judo. With the Asian Tour just behind us and the surprising World Championships of Astana, more and more is clear. One thing is for sure: Japan is back. Where in 2012 just one title was captured, now they are in a great shape. Although in 2011 (the previous Olympic cycle) a comparable number of gold medals was achieved by Japan in the World Tour (47 against 53 in 2015). Even at the World Championships in 2011 Japan took 5 gold medals to 6 in 2015.
Asia in general is coming up strongly with Mongolia, Korea, Kazakhstan, China enough aces that can make a gold medal in each category. Asia won 10 of the 14 gold medals in Astana this year from four countries. In London Asia won just 4 gold medals, Pan America 3 and Europe 7. The World Championships were a good indication that this time Asian will be much stronger. Secondly the home advantage is now for Brazil that if facing a tough time to make it to the medals. Tokyo was however a good motivational event.
Until May the nations have the time qualify their athletes for Rio. In this stage we can draw up a virtual medal table based upon the results in Astana, the IJF World Tour and the head2heads between the athletes in the top where there’s only space for one athlete per nation.
Japan has a few strong aces but more will be clear after the Olympic trials in April. Korea has already shown to have a great new generation delivering medals of importance.
Will this be the medal table in Rio? For sure not, but 241 days in advance it’s at least an indication of strength.
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