TOKYO (February 11) – The men's national team committee unveiled its selection process for the 2012 Olympic Games, using a system of points to decide help which wrestler will be given the ticket to London.
Under the system, wrestlers winning a medal at the world championships in September will be awarded two points and wrestlers qualifying Japan for the London Games without a medal by taking fifth place will be awarded one point.
In the weight categories in which Japan is qualified, three points will earn the wrestler a spot on the Olympic squad, pending the approval of the Japan Wrestling Federation. In weight categories which are not qualified at the world championships but later earned through qualification process in 2012, two points will secure a ticket to London.
The Japanese national championships in December will also give the winner one point. So, a world medalist in 2011 who also wins the All-Japan title will virtually assure himself of a berth at the Olympic Games.
The JWF will also hold an Olympic trials on March 20 with the winning wrestler earning one point. The wrestler who qualified Japan for the Olympics will be given the first seed with the second seed going to the All-Japan winner. Other wrestlers will include the All-Japan runners-up, third-place winners and wrestlers named by the JWF men's national team committee.
If the Olympic trials tournament ends without a wrestler reaching three points, a special wrestle-off will be held until a wrestler reaches three points.
In weight categories not qualified at the 2011 world championships, the winner of the All-Japan crown will be awarded one point. The winner will be sent to the Olympic qualification tourney for Asia in March with a chance to qualify Japan for the Games and secure his own place on the Olympic squad by finishing first or second.
In the event that Japan is not qualified via the Asian qualification meet, the All-Japan runner-up will be dispatched to the first international trials in China in April 2012. The wrestler will have a chance to qualify Japan by finishing in the top three and earn one point toward a spot on the national team.
Since the All-Japan champ and the wrestler who qualified the category for Japan will each have one point, a special wrestle-off will decide who gets the ticket to London.
In categories still not qualified for Japan, the All-Japan champion will go to the final qualification tourney in Helsinki in May. If he qualifies the weight for Japan, he will have two points and will be given a berth on the Japanese Olympic squad.