Events: 13 (Seven men, six women)
Classification: All athletes are visually impaired
Venue: Carioca Arena 3 – Barra Olympic Park
Athlete Quota: 132 (Across ten nations)
International Federation: International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA)
Ukraine won the medal table in 2012, but they had a number of Judokas retire after London, leading to a fairly light four years. Their best chance at a medal will likely be Inna Cherniak, entering her first Paralympic Games, but coming in as the world champion and favorite to win her gold.
Despite losing the World Championship title Shirin Sharipov of Uzbekistan will be a big favorite for the -100kg category. He won at the IBSA World Games in 2015, and so returns well from his big upset in 2014.
America’s best hope is world champion Dartanyon Crockett who will be entering his first Paralympic Games with a strong chance at a medal. Another North American confident of a medal is Eduardo Avila Sanchez of Mexico who comes in with two straight medals, a gold in Beijing and a bronze in London.
Nikolette Szabo will be returning after her bronze medal four years ago in London, but has had a strong four years, winning the World Championship, so will be a strong favorite in the -70kg, following Carmen Herrera’s retirement. Brazil’s big hope will be Antonio Tenorio in the men’s 90kg category looking to end his career with another medal, his sixth.
China’s Yanping Yuan will be hoping to continue her domination in the +70kg category, looking to win her third straight gold medal. Veteran German twins Ramona and Carmen Brussig will be looking to repeat their gold success in Rio in the women’s -52kg & -48kg categories.