The Judo World Ranking List and the Performances in the 2012 London Olympics

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Background: In 2009, the International Judo Federation (IJF) created a World Ranking List (WRL) to classify athletes according to their performance in international-level competitions and to qualify athletes for the Olympic Games. Objectives: Considering that this ranking system provides useful information concerning athletes’ performance in competitions during a 2-year period and during Olympic Games, the objective of this paper was to verify how long- and short-term performances in WRL competitions predict the performance in the 2012 London Olympic Games. Patients and Methods: Data from 233 male and 154 female athletes who took part in the London Olympic Games were analyzed considering: measures of long- and short-term performance, as well as measures of athlete approach to the Olympic Games and the points obtained in the 2012 London Olympic Games. Athletes were divided into male and female groups. Stepwise linear regression was conducted to predict points acquired in the Olympic Games. Significance level was set at 5% for all analyses. Results: The equation found for females was: 46.055 + 0.142 (points valid in the two years period) - 14.422 (number of competitions in 2012) (adjusted R2 = 0.240, standard error = 130 points, P < 0.05). For males, the equation found was: -38.079 + 0.102 (points valid in the two years period) + 1.088 (percentage of matches won in 2012) (adjusted R2 = 0.257, standard error = 109 points, P < 0.05). Conclusions: Thus, only 24% to 26% of female and male judo performance in the 2012 London Olympics could be predicted, respectively, by variables derived from the IJF WRL.