U.S. judo athletes qualify for Tokyo Olympics

Angelica Delgado
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Angelica Delgado and Colton Brown are the first Americans to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics in judo.

Delgado and Brown, both Rio Olympians, qualified via world rankings published Tuesday.

USA Judo hopes that a third athlete, Nefeli Papadakis, will qualify through an invitation process that ends July 3.

Delgado, a 30-year-old who lost her first-round match in Rio, is the highest-ranked American at 20th in the 52kg division. She is a first-generation American born to Cuban immigrants.

Brown, a 29-year-old who made the second round in Rio, is ranked 28th in the men’s 90kg division.

The U.S.’ smallest Olympic judo roster since women’s events were added in 1992 was five for the 2012 London Games, according to Olympedia.org.

It earned at least one judo medal at the last four Olympics, including Kayla Harrison‘s golds in 2012 and 2016 and Ronda Rousey‘s bronze in 2008. Both turned to MMA after their Olympic careers.

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