Connect with us


[JAPAN SPORTS NOTEBOOK] Team Japan Shines at World Judo Championships

In Doha, Japanese judoka collected five gold medals and 11 individual medals in 10 weight classes at the World Judo Championships.



World Judo Championships
Family success: World judo champions and siblings Hifumi Abe (left, men's 66-kg gold medalist) and Uta Abe, women's 52-kg winner, at the World Judo Championships in Doha on May 8. (KYODO)

Read the full story on SportsLook - [JAPAN SPORTS NOTEBOOK] Team Japan Shines at World Judo Championships

Japan delivered a comprehensive display of the nation's talented judoka at the 2023 World Judo Championships in Doha.

Entering the final day of this year's championships, when the mixed team event was to be held on Sunday, May 14, Japan was the leader in overall medals (11) and gold medals (five), with two silver and four bronze medals, too, in the Qatari capital.

This was similar to the most recent preceding world championships, held in October 2022, in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. There, Japan's judoka collected 13 medals (six gold, four silver and three bronze), more than any other nation.

Hifumi Abe (right) and Joshiro Maruyama compete in the men's 66-kg final on May 8 . (KYODO)

Triumphant Hifumi Abe Pleased with Effort in Final

On Monday, May 8, reigning men's Olympic champion Hifumi Abe (66-kg weight class) defended his Tashkent title and secured his fourth overall world title.

Abe defeated compatriot Joshiro Maruyama in the final.

"I was able to pursue my ideal way of fighting, giving him no chance to take the initiative," Hifumi Abe said, according to Kyodo News.

The 25-year-old added, "I fought with strong determination in the final, [and] I think I showed my strength as an Olympic champion."

Abe claimed his first world title in 2017 in Budapest. And he matched Japan's world title national record of four gold medals shared by Yasuhiro Yamashita, Naohisa Takato, Shozo Fujii and Naoya Ogawa.

Crediting his older rival for helping push him and elevate his competitive skills, Abe summed up 29-year-old Maruyama's impact on his career this way, according to Nikkan Sports: "I am who I am now because of him."

Uta Abe (right) faces France's Amandine Buchard in a women's 52-kg Pool B match on May 8. (KYODO)

Judo Star Uta Abe Repeats as World Champion

Earlier on the same day as his glorious achievement in Doha, the 66-kg judo dynamo's younger sister, Uta Abe, also repeated as world champion in the women's 52-kg division. The 22-year-old fan favorite from Kobe won her fourth straight world title, beating Uzbekistan's Diyora Keldiyorova in the final.

In a rematch of the women's gold-medal match from the Tokyo Olympics, Abe triumphed over France's Amandine Buchard in the quarterfinals.

Abe's overall brilliance as a judoka was showcased throughout the tournament, with all five of her victories achieved by ippon.

Continue reading the full story, which also includes news items on rugby, baseball and more on SportsLook.


Author: Ed Odeven

Find Ed on JAPAN Forward's dedicated website, SportsLook. Follow his [Japan Sports Notebook] on Sundays, [Odds and Evens] during the week, and Twitter @ed_odeven