India Sports

Arjuna Awardees in Judo

Judo is among the sports, which became quite popular in a short span of time. It can be traced back to the time when a judo trainer Shinzo Tagaki from the Kodokan Institute, the headquarters of the worldwide judo community in Tokyo, came to India. He demonstrated his unparallel judo skills at Shantiniketan, the ashram of Indian Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore in 1929. Tagore was so impressed with the personality of Mr Tagaki, that he wrote a poem on judo just for him. However, many Indian students were trained in Kodokan in Tokyo, before this event as well. The first Indian judo center was formed in Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry a couple years later.

After independence Judo Federation of India (JFI) was constituted in 1965. It was supported by three major clubs viz. Ferguson College, Pune, Bombay Judo Club, and Kajau Judo Club, Wellesley St. Calcutta. It got affiliated to International Judo Federation (IJF) the same year. The JFI worked very hard for the broad basing of this Japanese martial-art-cum-sport in India during the next few decades. The JFI organized the first National Judo Championship at Hyderabad in 1966, and since then it has been happening ceaselessly, every year.

By 1970, the judo community was increased to a sizeable chunk in India and JFI became hard-pressed to hire more professional trainers for the sport of judo from within India. A large number of coaches were required from within the country as trainers from abroad were not able to meet the training needs of a large and growing judo community. Mr. Takashi Ogata came to India on a welcome visit in 1976, and initiated a professional course in judo at NS NIS, Patiala. Another honorable Japanese judo guru Mr. Morio Suganami graced the judo community in India by his 1979 visit, and gave tips and laid some action plans for the promotion of judo in India. The contribution of Indian gentlemen such as Mr. Khaniwale, Dr. Pisolkar and Mr. N.T. Bangera to the sport of judo is exemplary and memorable.

Indian minister and president of JFI, Mr. Jagdish Tytler and ex-general secretary Mr. L.K. Daga also devised some action plans to boost the participation of Indian judo teams at the international events. At last, India got its much needed break in 1986 Seoul Asian Games, where Indians successfully bagged four bronze medals for their country. It was a milestone for the team India and since then, India has been performing continuously at the international judo events.

Several Indian judokas have qualified for the Olympic Games. Mr. Sandeep Byala and Mr. Cawas Billimoria participated in 1992 Barcelona Olympics. Ms. Brojeshwori Devi successfully qualified for the Athens Olympics 2000. : Mr. Akram Shah participated in Sydney Olympics 2004, on behalf of India. Ms. Kh. Tombi Devi & Ms. Diviya qualified for Beijing Olympics 2008.

Mr. Sandeep Byala, Mr. Cawas Kersap Billimoria, Mr. Akram Shah, Ms. Angom Anita Chanu, Mr. Narender Singh, Ms. Poonam Chopra, and Ms. Khumujam Tombi Devi received the prestigious Arjuna Award for their exemplary performances. In London Olympics 2012, recently, India's only qualifier Garima Chaudhary lost to Japanese Judoka, Yoshie Ueno in the women's 63 kg category elimination round. Japanese team reigned in London Olympics 2012, in judo and they won the gold, silver and bronze medals.

Recently an Indian judo player Thoudam Kalpana Devi from the North Eastern state of Manipur, performed in Judo World Cup 2010 held in Tashkent and finished among the top three.

List of Arjuna Award Winners in Judo

1992Sandeep Byala
1993Cawas Billimoria
1996Ms. Poonam Chopra
1998Narender Singh
2003Akram Shah
2004Ms. Angom Anita Chanu
2007Ms. Tombi Devi
2012Yashpal Solanki

Last Updated on 10/09/2012