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Inoue named Japan judo coach

Kyodo

Former Olympic gold medalist Kosei Inoue will take over as head coach of the men’s national judo team from Shinichi Shinohara, who has been under fire for the country’s recent string of lackluster performances, Kyodo News learned on Wednesday.

A source with the All Japan Judo Federation said the 34-year-old Inoue, who won the men’s 100-kg title at the 2000 Sydney Games, will take over after Japan’s men under Shinohara finished with no gold medals for the first time ever at the London Games this past summer.

The judo federation had initially said that the 39-year-old Shinohara would remain as coach looking ahead toward the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games but has done an about-face. Inoue will be announced as the new coach on Monday.

Inoue is well renowned for his past achievements in the sport including three world titles and has been acting as one of the men’s coaches. He has been chosen as someone who can rebuild the men’s team in time for the 2016 Olympics after its fall from grace.

The Miyazaki native, known for his explosive inner-thigh throwing techniques when he was still active, was named the captain of the Japanese delegation for the 2004 Athens Olympics. He won three consecutive world and national titles.

After retiring in 2008, Inoue studied abroad in Britain before becoming a coach for the men’s national team and a vice coach at his alma mater Tokai University in 2011.