Gambian Judoka Faye Njie has finished his first round of Tokyo 2020 qualifiers with position 32 out of 73 fighters from 53 countries, saying his victory has demonstrated that he can challenge and beat athletes who are the top level.
The qualifiers was held on Saturday in Paris, France.
The finish-based Gambian Judoka got off the first round to a perfect start, beating 3 times Pan American champion and an Olympian from Rio de Janeiro. Faye won the well contested fight by penalties, just few seconds before it ended. That would propel him to the second round against a Turkish fighter who is currently ranked 10th in the world.
“This win was quite crucial when it comes to the qualification points because my closest rivals who are attempting to get my continental quota spot fought today as well but they were eliminated in the first round, “Faye told The Chronicle. “Therefore I was able to further the gap between them and securing my place when there is only few qualifying competitions left.”
The Gambian fighter was eliminated in the second round by the Turkish top fighter. In the beginning, both athletes couldn’t get a score. Meanwhile, a minute before the end of the round, the Turkish was able to get a 10 points throw which finished the fight. “Today proved that I can beat and challenge athletes who are at top level so, I think it is possible to go even further there than today, “said Faye.
With five months away from the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Games, the event gave The Gambian judoka the chance to accumulate maximum of points to go for Olympic qualification. He has strengthened his position, holding the continental quota spot.
Faye now sets his eyes on defending his British University Championship title next week before travelling to Dusseldorf, Germany for another qualifying tournament.
Breaking down judo’s qualification system
As with all International Judo Federation events, seven men’s categories and seven women’s categories will be contested at the Tokyo 2020. A judoka must be in the top 18 on the IJF World Ranking List to qualify directly for the Games as judo now has parity between the number of men and women who will compete at an Olympics. If one country has more than one judoka inside the world’s top 18 rankings, then their National Olympic Committee will select which judoka will represent them with a maximum of one judoka per weight category per country.