Japan’s ‘judo monster’ Shohei Ono leaves the mat.
Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun reported on the 15th, “Ono, who has won two consecutive Olympic gold medals in the 73kg class, is likely to withdraw from the international stage without aiming for the 2024 Paris Olympics. He is reviewing training to walk the path of a leader.” Ohno is preparing to study abroad through the Japan Olympic Committee’s overseas training program for sports leaders.
In addition, Yomiuri added, “(I am only withdrawing from the Japanese national team) I can participate in domestic competitions.” The men’s 73kg class is a weight class called the flower of judo. In Korea, Lee Won-hee, the ‘one-on-one man’, dominated the world in this weight class in the early 2000s.
Ohno is a superstar who commanded judo not only in Japan but also around the world. He won consecutive gold medals at the 2016 Rio Olympics and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. He also reached the top of the world championship three times. His participation showed off his powerful skills to the extent that the formula of a gold medal soon emerged. Possessing overwhelming strength that is unrivaled in the same weight class, Ohno defeated the opponent with his main weapons, the thigh-spinning and field bridge. The opposing player got scared from the moment he faced Ohno and backed away.
For Korean fans, he is famous as a rival of Korean-Japanese Ahn Chang-rim. Ahn Chang-lim, who was called a star of Korean judo for his elaborate kicks, won numerous international competitions, but only Ohno could not. Ahn Chang-lim faced Ohno a total of six times, including the finals of the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games, and lost all of them. Because of the one-sided defeat, some viewed Ahn Chang-rim and Ohno as natural enemies rather than rivals. The two competed in the Tokyo Olympics, but did not face each other. Ahn Chang-lim won the bronze medal. 토토사이트
In the 73kg class where Ohno left, it seems that the Spring and Autumn Warring States era will be opened. This is because the player base is thick, but there is no absolute strong nor absolute weak. There is a high possibility that Ohno’s vacancy will be filled by Soichi Hashimoto, who is called ‘the second person in his ten thousand years’. Hashimoto is talented enough to win the world championship, but he has been pushed out of the selection round for the Japanese Olympic team every time in the shadow of the ‘monster’ Ohno.
Hashimoto also won the 2022 Tokyo Grand Slam, which ended earlier this month. It is unlikely that Ohno’s absence will affect Korean judo. This is because the 73kg class has become a less competitive weight class on the international stage since Ahn Chang-rim left. Current national team member Lee Eun-gyeol is ranked 63rd and Kang Heon-chul is 95th in the world rankings. With the current performance, it is impossible to guarantee participation in the Paris Olympics. Ahn Chang-rim, who has not competed in an international competition for more than a year since the Tokyo Olympics, is still ranked 22nd. He has the highest ranking among Korean players.