A number of Dutch judokas are still chasing a ticket for the Olympic Games in Tokyo, with the Grand Slam in Tel Aviv as the penultimate measurement from Thursday.

An overview of the judokas who are involved in a competition.

To be eligible to participate in the Games, a judoka must be in the top eighteen of the Olympic ranking of the international judo federation.

This ranking is compiled on the basis of results that have been achieved since May 2018 at the World Championships, European Championships, Grand Slams, Grands Prix and the Masters.

In some weight classes there are two judokas who meet the international requirements, while the Netherlands may only send one per category to the Games.

A selection committee of the Dutch judo federation must decide in those weight classes who can go to Tokyo.

In January, three measurement moments were therefore designated as the final part of the Olympic qualification process.

These are the World Masters held last month, the Grand Slam in Tel Aviv (19-21 February) and the European Championship in Lisbon (16-18 April).

Those tournaments are not decisive, but the selection committee will consider the results in the final decision.

That committee also looks at, among other things, the place on the world rankings and results in the recent past against other top judokas.

Not all Dutch judokas are still uncertain about participating in the Games.

Juul Franssen (up to 63 kilograms), Tornike Tsjkadoea (-60 kg), Frank de Wit (-81 kg), reigning world champion Noël van 't End (-90 kilograms) and Michael Korrel (-100 kg) were already nominated at the beginning of 2020 by the judo association.

In the category up to 57 kilograms, Sanne Verhagen still has a good chance of Olympic qualification and in three weight classes there is currently still a fierce competition between top judokas.

World champion Noël van 't End will be nominated for the Olympic Games anyway.

World champion Noël van 't End will be nominated for the Olympic Games anyway.

Photo: Pro Shots

Category up to 70 kilograms: Polling against Van Dijke

In the category up to 70 kilograms, the selection committee will soon make a choice between Kim Polling and Sanne van Dijke, respectively the number four and two in the world.

During the Masters earlier this year, Polling dealt a sensitive blow to Van Dijke by beating her competitor in the battle for the bronze.

Four-time European champion Polling already participated in the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, but was already eliminated there in the first round by Haruka Tachimoto.

The Japanese would later conquer the Olympic title.

Thirty-year-old Polling came into action at the Masters for the first time in more than a year, although she closed 2019 with medals at the Masters and two Grand Slams.

Van Dijke, five years younger, took the European Championship silver in November.

Sanne van Dijke hopes to go to the Olympic Games for the first time, but has fierce competition from Kim Polling.

Sanne van Dijke hopes to go to the Olympic Games for the first time, but has fierce competition from Kim Polling.

Photo: ANP

Category up to 78 kilograms: Steenhuis versus Verkerk

In the category up to 78 kilograms, eyes are on Guusje Steenhuis (28) and Marhinde Verkerk (35), who, like Polling and Van Dijke, fought a direct duel at the Masters.

Steenhuis defeated Verkerk in the exciting battle for the bronze after a golden score of almost five minutes.

In the run-up to the 2016 Games, the two top judokas were already involved in the battle for the Olympic ticket.

Then Verkerk got the preference of the selection committee.

The 2009 world champion finished fifth at the 2012 Games and four years later in Brazil she immediately lost her first match.

Based on the results in recent years, Steenhuis seems to have an advantage, not least because the judoka won World Cup silver in September 2018.

She is also five places higher on the world ranking than Verkerk (eleventh for sixteenth place).

Guusje Steenhuis won silver at the World Cup in September 2018.

Guusje Steenhuis won silver at the World Cup in September 2018.

Photo: Getty Images

Category from 100 kilograms: Grol against Meyer

In the category from 100 kilograms Henk Grol hopes to grab the coveted Olympic ticket.

The 35-year-old Groninger, who a few years ago exchanged the category up to 100 kilograms for the heavyweight, has competition from Roy Meyer, who is one place lower on the world ranking (fifth for sixth).

At the Masters, Grol did better than his competitor by reaching the semi-finals and then winning bronze in the rematches.

Meyer was already eliminated in the first round, although he was not happy that he had to play judo directly against two-time Olympic champion Teddy Riner.

It is striking that Grol is abandoning the Grand Slam in Tel Aviv this week.

The two-time Olympic medalist in the category up to 100 kilograms (bronze in 2008 and 2012) wants to focus entirely on the European Championships in Lisbon.

Meyer therefore benefits even more from performing well in Tel Aviv.

The Grand Slam in the Israeli city starts on Thursday and lasts through Sunday.

The Dutch team consists of eight women and six men.

The weight classes in which an Olympic ticket is competed are on the program on Friday and Saturday.

Grand Slam Tel Aviv program

  • Thursday February 18: -48 kg, -52 kg, -57 kg (women), -60 kg, -66 kg (men)

  • Friday February 19: -63 kg, -70 kg (women), -73 kg, -81 kg (men)

  • Saturday February 20 -78 kg, +78 kg (women), -90 kg, -100 kg, +100 kg (men)

Henk Grol is not present at the Grand Slam in Tel Aviv.

Henk Grol is not present at the Grand Slam in Tel Aviv.

Photo: Pro Shots