Judoka Sushila loses, but can still make it to Olympics


Sushila Devi on Sunday lost in the first round of the women’s 48kg category and crashed out of the World Championships here on Sunday.

However, Sushila could still qualify for the Olympic Games if she ends up with more aggregate points than compatriot Jasleen Singh Saini in the month-end rankings.

Going into the World Championships, Sushila with 989 points was the top ranked Indian while Saini had approximately 920 points.

Only one Indian, with the higher ranking, will qualify for the July-August Tokyo Olympics, as the country has only one continental Olympic quota place.

Saini will compete in the men’s 66kg category on Monday. The Judo Federation of India (JFI) has fielded only these two in the World Championships.

The eight-day tournament is the last Olympic qualification event and offers valuable world ranking points.

Sushila, 24, started on a positive note against Mary Dee Vargas of Chile. But half way through the four-minute contest, the Manipur judoka lost her rhythm and suffered defeat by ippon.

More than 600 competitors, including 279 in the women’s category, are competing in the World Championships.

Earlier, in April, a 16-member Indian judo team had to pull out of Asian Oceania Olympic qualifier tournament in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, as two athletes had tested positive for Covid-19 in the pre-event testing.