Is Cadet and Junior performance associated with Senior’s WC and OG performance in Judo?

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Purpose: We determined whether cadet and junior Judo World Championship participation and medal achievement would predict senior performance at World Championship (WC) and Olympic Games (OG). Methods: We analyzed retrospectively a total of 7780 athletes who competed at the OG and WC in the cadet, junior, and senior between 2009 and 2021. Results: There was an increase in the probability of winning a medal in the senior category (WC and OG, and only WC) ranged from 4.3 to 4.5 for medal-winning cadets compared to non-medalists and this probability remained around 3.3–3.8 for medalists in the male and 5.3–5.4 for the female medalists in cadet WC. Moreover, the chance of winning a medal in the senior category (WC and OG) was 8.1–8.5 times greater for medalists when compared to non-medalists in the junior WC. In turn, the probability of winning a medal in the senior (WC) was 1.5–1.7 times greater for athletes who did not compete in the junior WC. In the OG, the probability of winning a medal was 3.5 greater times for medalists when compared to non-medalists at cadet and junior WC. Conclusion: Thus, being a cadet or junior WC medalist increases the probability of winning a senior WC or an Olympic medal.

KEYWORDS: athlete development; combat sports; grappling; sport specialization

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Hifumi ABE at Cadet WC Miami 2013 (left), Junior WC Lauderdale 2014 (center) and Senior WC Tashkent 2022 (right)
Daria Bilodid at Cadet WC Sarajevo 2015 (left), Junior WC Nassau 2018 (center) and Senior WC Baku 2018 (right)
Daria Bilodid‘s sport career

Check out our previous article about specialization in Japanese Olympic judo athletes, written by J.C.Yamamoto, and learn more about this topic.

12 thoughts on “Is Cadet and Junior performance associated with Senior’s WC and OG performance in Judo?

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