Sydney's Games: A Bluffers Guide

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If judo is the kinder, gentler martial art-developed as an alternative to the more ferocious jujitsu, it translates in English as "the gentle way"-then it seems the formidable Japanese team hasn't been told. Judoka (as competitors are called) from the sport's homeland have muscled in on twice as much Olympic gold as their nearest rivals since the sport joined the Games program in 1964, though in some divisions their lock on the top spots is weakening. Men

Japan may have a stranglehold on the sport, but the giant of world judo is 120-kg Frenchman David Douillet, gold medalist in the heavyweight (100+ kg) division at Atlanta and the holder of three world championship titles. Japan's hopes of upsetting Douillet rest on Shinichi Shinohara. In the 100-kg class, one to watch will be Japanese newcomer Kosei Inoue, who won his first world title last year. Former Olympic champ Hidehiko Yoshida (90 kg) is also a good bet for a medal, while world champions Graham Randall (81 kg) of Great Britain and Jimmy Pedro (73 kg) of the U.S. will be doing their utmost to out-throw the Japanese. Women

Much is expected of the Japanese women, too. One of the best is the extra lightweight (48 kg) Ryoko Tamura, who won four world championships in the '90s and silver at Atlanta. But the female pacesetters in judo have been Cubans, such as defending Olympic lightweight (57 kg) champion Diruli Gonzalez. Strong teams will also come from China, France and Korea.



  • Heavywt (100+ kg) Sept. 22
  • Half-heavywt (100 kg) Sept. 21
  • Half-middlewt (81 kg) Sept. 19
  • Lightwt (73 kg) Sept. 18


  • Extra lightwt (48 kg) Sept. 16
  • Lightwt (57 kg) Sept. 18