TOKYO (January 11) – The Japan Wrestling Federation will give this year's female world champions a huge advantage in the selection process for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, but at the same time, is trying to leave the door open to other wrestlers.
According to the plan unveiled by the JWF, winners at the world meet in Istanbul will still have to win at the 2011 national championships in December or at next year's national invitational.
If the world champion does not win either national title, the winners of the two meets with wrestle off for the Olympic berth.
If a wrestler finishes in second to fifth place in Istanbul and qualifies Japan for an Olympic berth, the wrestler will have to win both the national championship and the national invitational titles to secure the ticket to London. If a different wrestler manages to win one of the national crowns, a wrestle-off for the Olympic team will be held.
If a wrestler finishes in seventh place or lower at the world championships and fails to qualify Japan for the Olympics, she will be sent to the Olympic qualification meet for Asia in March 2012 to try again.
If Japan is still not qualified, the national team committee will decide which wrestler(s) to send to the final two Olympic qualification tournaments.
If Japan secures an Olympic berth in one of the final two trials, the national team committee will decide on its selection process for the berth.
As for the 2011 world championships, national champions in the four Olympic categories can secure a world team berth by winning the national invitational in April. If a different wrestler wins at the invitational, a special wrestle-off will be held.
For the three non-Olympic categories, the national champ can punch her ticket to Istanbul by winning at the invitational. If she does not win at the invitational, the national team committee will decide from among the two winners and the top wrestlers from other categories who would like to be considered.
For the 2012 women's world championships, slated for Canada after the Olympic Games, the national team committee will decide on squad members based upon a wide range of criteria.