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Next month’s Judo National Championships to act as a qualifier for Birmingham Commonwealth Games

India’s Shushila Devi in action during an international meet. File photo. (Picture credits: IJF)
India’s Shushila Devi in action during an international meet. File photo. (Picture credits: IJF)

The cream of Indian judo will be seen in action at next month’s Senior National Judo Championships. It will also act as a qualification event for the Birmingham Commonwealth Games, Manmohan Jaiswal, general secretary of the Judo Federation of India (JFI), confirmed today.

The dates of the event are from May 5-8, but the venue will be finalized this weekend. The competition is likely to be held either in Andhra Pradesh or Delhi.

The winners of gold medals in each of the weight categories, including women’s group, will be eligible to compete in the Commonwealth Games, scheduled to be held in Birmingham from July 28.

According to Jaiswal, JFI has got six quota places for the Commonwealth Games.

“The federation will take the final call on the selection of the weight categories and athletes for the Birmingham Commonwealth Games as per international ranking points,” Jaiswal said. “The athlete with maximum international ranking points has bright chances to earn a berth for the Commonwealth Games.”

Meanwhile, India’s 2020 Tokyo Olympian Shushila Devi from Manipur is excited to compete at the National Championships.

“It’s a good opportunity for all potential athletes to showcase their talent and earn a place in the national team for Commonwealth Games,” the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games silver medalist in 48kg, said. “Since there is no national camp for elite judo players, I’m practicing in Bellary, Karnataka, with my personal coach.”

Due to infighting between the members of the JFI, the Senior National Championships couldn’t be conducted in 2021 after being postponed for a year due to the pandemic.

Shushila was the highest-ranked Indian in the 2021 season. On the basis of her ranking points, she got a continental quota to compete at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games held last year in Japan.

The upcoming National Championships in May will be Shushila’s first competition since the Olympic Games.

“Regular international exposure is important to earn valuable international ranking points and improve skills,” the 27-year-old Manipur judoka insisted.
Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee
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