Judo competitions became
part of the Olympic programme at the Olympics in Tokyo in 1964. They were left
outside at the following edition four years later in Mexico but were
reintroduced in Munich in 1972. Romania has been represented in Olympic judo
competitions since the Moscow edition in 1980 but had no representative in the
1988 edition hosted by South Korean capital Seoul.
Athletes from Romania started
to obtain medals at the Olympics in Los Angeles in 1984, when Mircea Fratica walked
away with bronze from the 78-kilogram category and Mihai Cioc did the same in
the open event.
The best Olympic
performances were clinched by Alina Dumitru, gold medalist in the 48-kilogram
category in Beijing in 2008 and silver medalist in London 2012.
For the upcoming edition in Tokyo, the
Romanians have pinned their hopes on the double European champion Andreea
Chitu, competing in the 52-kilogram category.
Chitu was born on May 7th
1988 near Bucharest and signed up with the Romanian Army sports club Steaua
Bucharest. She reaped silver medals in two world championships, in 2014 in
Chelyabinsk, Russia and a year later in Astana, Kazakhstan. She stepped onto
the podium's third step in Paris in 2011.
She added five more medals,
which she won in European championships: gold in Chelyabinsk in 2012 and in
Baku, Azerbaijan, in 2014, and silver in Budapest, Hungary in 2013. She also
walked away with bronze from Montpellier, France in 2014 and from Kazan,
Russia, in 2016. Andreea Chitu qualified for the Olympic Games twice, in London
in 2012 and in Rio in 2016 when she ranked 7th.
(translated by bill)