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Unique Opportunity for Judo Elite

5 April 2007

Australia’s top Judo athletes will have a unique opportunity to train with a Japanese coach and athletes at the Olympic Solidarity Camp at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) in Canberra in August.

This will be an amazing experience for the Australians to train with the world leaders in Judo.

“At the 2004 Athens Olympic Games the Japanese took home 8 of the 14 gold medals up for grabs…Japan is where Judo originated and it’s their number one sport,” said Gail Galea, High Performance Officer of Judo Australia.

Funding from the Oceania National Olympic Committees (ONOC) made this opportunity possible.

The Australian Judo squad has recently been training at the AIS under national coach, Peter Herrmann, and coach, Angela Deacon.

These sessions are part of a series of elite camps for Australia’s top Judo athletes to prepare for the forthcoming Olympic qualifying events and the Beijing Olympic Games.

During the camps the athletes partake in fitness, strategy, technical conditioning and assessments.

“In the morning we go on a 20 minute run followed by five 400 metre sprints then stretching,” said Herrmann.

“From 10.30am to 12.30pm we have a series of five minute Judo fights followed by technical work and strategy as well as a performance review via heart rate monitoring. In the afternoon the squad participates in a similar session.”

Hydration testing is conducted at elite camps via urine sample analysis to educate the athletes about the relationship between hydration and optimal performance, especially since Judo is a weight class sport and dehydration can be used as a quick fix to drop weight.

At the conclusion of each session to promote recovery and to improve circulation, the squad participates in a routine that is repeated five times and involves sitting in a spa bath for one minute then standing out of the spa in cool air (12 degrees) for another minute.

Australia’s athletes can gain automatic selection for the Olympic Games if they place in the top six in their weight division at World Championships in Brazil this September.

If athletes are unsuccessful in Brazil they can still qualify via events in their region. Australians will have to compete in events in the Oceania region, which are the OJU (Oceania Judo Union) Open in Perth (10-11 November 2007) and the Oceania Championships in Christchurch, New Zealand (March 2008).

Points accrued from regional qualifying events plus World Championship points are added together then the top athlete in their weight division per country qualifies for Beijing. Only one person per country per weight category can qualify for the Olympics Games.

The Australian athletes considered to have a good chance of qualifying for Beijing include Pepic Semir (100kg men’s division), Damian Kelly (90kg), Catherine Arolve (63kg) and Sydney Olympic Games bronze medallist, Maria Pekli (57kg).

List of Judo events at the Games of the XXIX Olympiad, Beijing 2008


  • + 100kg (heavyweight)
  • - 60 kg • 60 - 66kg (half-lightweight)
  •  66 - 73kg (lightweight)
  • 73 - 81kg (half-middleweight)
  • 81 - 90kg (middleweight)
  • 90 - 100kg (half-heavyweight)


  • + 78kg (heavyweight)
  • - 48kg (extra-lightweight)
  • 48 - 52kg (half-lightweight)
  •  52 - 57kg (lightweight)
  • 57 - 63kg (half-middleweight)
  • 63 - 70kg (middleweight)
  • 70 - 78kg (half-heavyweight)

Sarah-Lucy Rice

Return to Beijing Bound

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