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Judo: making a big comeback at Glasgow 2014

Absent from the Commonwealth Games programme since Manchester 2002, judo is making a well deserved return at Glasgow 2014.

Fourteen judokas (judo players), seven men and seven women, will have the chance to represent Scotland in the 14 categories in the competition, although the final list of players has not yet been revealed (we'll look at the contenders later).

Since this year's Games are at home and historically Scotland has always put out a strong judo team, the crowd will have plenty to cheer when the first events start on July 24 at the SECC Precinct.

Team Scotland have amassed a total of 18 medals since their first appearance in Auckland 1990, confirming the team as favourites alongside England, Canada and Australia.

First, though, some history: judo, from the Japanese "gentle way", is a fairly new martial art founded in Japan by Jigoro Kano in 1882.

Kano applied principles such as "maximum efficient use of energy", "mutual welfare and benefit" and "gentleness controls hardness" to a martial arts perspective.

He managed to develop more than just another style of martial arts, he created a lifestyle that synchronised body (practising attack and defence) and mind, in order to achieve perfection and contribute something of value to the world.

The benefits the sport provides (self discipline, physical co-ordination, self confidence, concentration, leadership skills, power, flexibility) were deemed so important that judo became part of the Japanese school physical education programme.

Kano's legacy and the foundation he shaped remain the pillars of modern judo, practised around the world today.

It is a competitive and highly tactical martial art that focuses on three main techniques: throwing, grappling and striking. The main objective is to defeat your opponent using skill, technique and timing.

In Scotland, the first clubs started to appear in the early 1950s. Judo Scotland, the recognised governing body for the sport, now has 152 affiliated clubs spread all over the country, with 7000 registered members.

The sport was introduced into the Olympic Games in 1964 for men and for women in 1988. At the Commonwealth Games, judo has been part of the programme as an optional sport since 1990.

And here are the short-listed judokas, in ranking order, who could represent Scotland at Glasgow 2014:

Women:

1. Sarah Adlington

2. Sally Conway

3. Kimberly Renicks

4. Sarah Clark

5. Louise Renicks

6. Stephanie Inglis

7. Jodie Mullen

7. Connie Ramsay

8. Samantha Clark

9. Ashley Flemming

Men:

1. Euan Barton

2. Patrick Dawson

3. Matthew Purssey

4. Christopher Sherringdon

5. Andrew Burns

6. James Austin

7. John Buchanan

8. Graham Trinder

9. James Millar

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