The 2021 Asia-Oceania Judo Championships will be the last chance for many judokas to stake a claim at qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, with the competition set to start tomorrow in Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan.
With qualification open until only June 28, the top athletes over the two continents will be looking to make the top 18 in the world across their respective weight categories - which guarantees a spot at the Games.
Apart from the top 18, a continental ranking list will also select the highest-ranked players on the list, providing the athlete is not representing a nation that already holds a berth in that weight category.
For Indian judokas among other nations, this is the last chance for them to try and move up the rankings ahead of the Olympics, as no athletes from the country are in the top 18 in any weight category.
This means they can only make the Olympics through the continental quota.
There are 10 spots available per weight category for both men and women in Asia.
A 16-member Indian senior #Judo team (8 men, 8 women) left for Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, to participate in the Asia Oceania Championship, which will go on till April 10. This is one of the most important Olympic qualifiers. pic.twitter.com/PqESNGPgdV— Khelo India (@kheloindia) April 5, 2021
Only 44th in the women's under-48-kilogram world rankings, Shushila Devi Likmabam, is currently eligible for the Games through the continental quota and will look to add more ranking points at the Championships to consolidate her position.
Close to the continental quota positions are Rio 2016 Olympian Avtar Singh in the men's under-100kg, Tulika Maan in the women's over-78kg and Jasleen Singh Saini in the men's under-66kg.
Over 200 judokas from 30 countries are set to compete at the tournament.
The 2020 competition was initially scheduled to take place from April 17 to 19 last year in Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia, before it was postponed to November due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It was called off and in December, Bishkek was awarded the 2021 edition.
This year's event is set to start tomorrow, concluding on Friday (April 9).
The 2021 Asia-Oceania Judo Championships will be available to watch on the Judo Union of Asia YouTube channel.