New judo rules favor Japan at world championships

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Associated Press

Posted on August 30, 2013 at 9:06 AM

For the country that invented judo, winning only one gold medal at last year's London Olympics was like a humiliating flip onto its back.

But Japan has now been given a fighting chance at reclaiming its dominance after judo's ruling body changed the rules to promote a classic style that goes back to the sport's ancient samurai origins.

At this week's world championships in Rio de Janeiro, the Japanese already have racked up three gold medals and are first in the medals race.

Jimmy Pedro, a U.S. Olympic coach and former world champion, says the new rules "make judo more traditional and that definitely favors the Japanese."

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