Indian judoka Sushila Devi earns provisional qualification for Tokyo Olympics


Sushila Devi Likmabam, the ace judoka of the country has become the first Indian judoka to secure a berth at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics Games in the women’s 48kg category.

However, Sushila has earned her spot through the continental quota which means her qualification is still provisional and will be finalized after the release of the final list of qualifiers on 28th June.

Sushila is currently competing at the World Judo Championship, the last Olympic qualification event which is being held in Budapest, the capital of Hungary.

On Sunday, she lost her first round at the championship, but her Olympics berth was confirmed as she currently has 989 aggregate points, which puts her on the seventh spot in the Asian list, ahead of her fellow Indian judoka Jasleen Singh Saini.

The continental quotas, via which Sushila has earned her provisional qualification, are allotted on the basis of the rank a judoka has in the region. Asia currently has 10 continental quotas.

“The information shown is provisional and only shows which judoka would be qualified if the Olympic Games were today,” a statement on the International Judo Federation website read, “The list will likely change significantly until 28th June 2021, which is the deadline for obtaining points for Olympic qualification.”

Sushila faced Mary Dee Vargas of Chile on her first round at the World Championships. Although her performance early in the match was impressive, Sushila lost her composure halfway through the fight and was defeated by the Chilean by ippon in the four-minute bout.

Although her ticket to Tokyo in July is still provisional, Sushila is keeping India’s judoka hopes intact with a debut at the Olympics and was congratulated by Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju.

A Manipur police constable, Sushila gained recognition after clinching a silver medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in women’s 48kg. Subsequently, she clinched two more silvers at the Asian Open in Hong Kong in 2018 as well as in 2019.

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