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Osaka: Which sports or athletes will you be following during the London 2012 Olympics?

by Ray Franklin

Shoki Kanemoto
University student, 20 (Japanese)

I practiced judo for four years, so I will follow that closely. I will especially cheer for Hiroaki Hiraoka, who is in my 60 kg weight class. He hurt his leg last year but came back this year, so I hope he wins a gold medal. To be honest, I don’t care about other countries!

Jim Hudgens
English instructor, 50 (American)
I’m not a big fan of the Olympics. There is too much corruption and the games are too nationalistic. I think they should be replaced by a more democratic event, for which I’ve coined the term “Milathalon,” in which the games are played out over a four-year period.

Paris Christidis
English instructor, 42 (Australian)
I love the swimming and diving, but only when Aussies are in it! I’ll especially follow Ian Thorpe’s comeback. On the Japan team, I’ll cheer for local hero Genki Dean, the javelin thrower from Kobe with a British dad and Japanese mom. Go, Genki!

Kazutoshi Wakaki
Retired office worker, 61 (Japanese)
I’m interested in table tennis, so I’ll cheer for China because they have a big advantage and long history in the sport. Even Japan’s Ai Fukuhara trains there. I’m not a China fan in other areas, but in the Olympics I hope they’ll make a good showing commensurate with their size.

Natsume Hisa
Sports shop worker, 21 (Japanese)
Nadeshiko Japan are the World Cup holders, so I hope they will win the Olympic gold too. The men’s team will play Spain, and I’ll cheer for them even though it may be a blowout. And I’ll be closely watching swimmer Ryosuke Irie, who went to my university, Kinki.

Ritsuko Yamasaki
Housewife, 60 (Japanese)
I’ll have an eye on the women’s 4×100 relay team, which has a high school girl on it. I’ll also watch out for Masashi Eriguchi in the men’s 100 meters, and Koji Murofushi, going for another gold in the hammer. Men’s marathoner Arata Fujiwara also has a medal chance.

Interested in gathering views in your neighborhood? E-mail community@japantimes.co.jp