Ryoko TANI

Japan JPN

Judo

  • Olympic Medals
    2 G
    2 S
    1 B
  • Games participations
    5
  • First Olympic Games
    Barcelona 1992
  • Year of Birth
    1975
Olympic Results

Biography

Ryoko TANI

A medal winner in each of the five Olympic Games she took part in, Japanese judoka Ryoko Tani is an icon in her homeland and birthplace of her sport.

The rise of women’s judo

The young Ryoko Tamura attended her first fights in the early 1980s, when women’s judo was still very much a minority sport in Japan and recognition remained a long way off. Even when she decided that judo was for her, Tamura had to overcome her mother’s resistance. “She would have preferred me to play the piano or to have had tennis lessons, something more fitting for a young girl,” she explains.

Early inspiration

Standing only 1.46m tall, Tamura went on to make her name in the 48kg category, the lightest of all, eventually becoming the undisputed world No1 at that weight.

In her early years, she took inspiration from Great Britain’s pioneering four-time world champion Karen Briggs. She competed against her role model for the first time as a 15-year-old at the Fukuoka Cup in 1990, the first international women’s judo competition to be held in Japan. The teenager beat her idol on that occasion, her first major victory, though Briggs had her revenge in the World Championship semi-finals a year later, with the Japanese youngster having to make do with bronze.

Olympic Results

More results
Olympic Results
Results Event Sport

Beijing 2008

B
Extra-Lightweight (≤48 kilograms)
Extra-Lightweight (≤48 kilograms) Judo
Olympic Results
Results Event Sport

Athens 2004

G
Extra-Lightweight (≤48 kilograms)
Extra-Lightweight (≤48 kilograms) Judo
Olympic Results
Results Event Sport

Sydney 2000

G
Extra-Lightweight (≤48 kilograms)
Extra-Lightweight (≤48 kilograms) Judo
Olympic Results
Results Event Sport

Atlanta 1996

S
Extra-Lightweight (≤48 kilograms)
Extra-Lightweight (≤48 kilograms) Judo
Olympic Results
Results Event Sport

Barcelona 1992

S
Extra-Lightweight (≤48 kilograms)
Extra-Lightweight (≤48 kilograms) Judo