Doug Rogers, right, has died at the age of 79 ©Judo Canada

The International Judo Federation (IJF) has paid tribute to Canada’s first judo Olympic medallist Doug Rogers, who has died at the age of 79.

Rogers represented Canada at the Tokyo 1964 Olympic Games, where he won his two elimination-round contests and a semi-final against the Soviet Union’s Parnaoz Chikviladze.

Rogers missed out on gold in the 80-kilogram heavyweight division, after being beaten by Japan’s Isao Inokuma in the final.

The Canadian had moved to Japan in 1960, with the 19-year-old originally planning to stay for six months.

Rogers ultimately stayed in Japan until 1965, before returning to Canada.

He secured World Championship bronze in Rio de Janeiro in the same year, as well as two medals at a home Pan American Games in Winnipeg in 1967.

Rogers secured gold in the open class competition, as well as winning silver in the heavyweight discipline.

He retired from competition to begin a career as a pilot and was later inducted into the Judo Canada Hall of Fame in 1996.

The IJF said it offered its sincere condolences to Rogers’ wife and four children, as well as to Judo Canada.

The governing body described Rogers as "a giant of a man, in every sense and will be missed".

Judo Canada also paid tribute to Rogers and his outstanding achievements.

"With great sadness, Judo Canada has been informed about the passing of the legendary Mr. Doug Rogers," a Judo Canada statement read.

"As one of Judo Canada’s hero of the tatamis, Mr. Rogers was inducted as an athlete into Judo Canada’s Hall of Fame in 1996 for outstanding national and international achievements as a member of Canada’s national judo team.

"One of his many accomplishments include winning the first Olympic medal for Judo in Canada.

"On behalf of all members of Judo Canada, we express our deepest condolences to his family and friends."