World No. 1 Takashi Ono is not one to make excuses, even if defeat only comes once in a blue moon.
Ono, who failed to exorcise his demons when he lost to Greece’s Ilias Iliadis in the third round at the world championships in September for his only loss this season, was again the victim of a surprise attack when he was dumped by Uzbekistan’s Khurshid Nabiev in the men’s 90-kilogram class at the Grand Slam Tokyo meet on Sunday.
Save for his loss to Iliadis, Ono had won seven consecutive titles in international meets before being knocked out in the quarterfinals against Nabiev.
“I can’t make any excuses today. I lost, so I obviously didn’t have the ability to win. My form simply wasn’t any good,” Ono said.
Last month, Ono looked to be back to his winning self when he defeated 2009 world bronze medalist Dilshod Choriev of Uzbekistan at the Asian Games in Guangzhou, overcoming an injury to his left knee to pull off the victory.
But the 30-year-old Ibaraki native said he could get nothing rolling against Nabiev, who took third place behind Japan’s Masashi Nishiyama and second-place Tiago Camilo of Brazil.
“My opponent was using a grappling technique that I don’t like. I still have the (knee) injury, but that has nothing to do with it. I wanted to finish this year on a high note with a victory. This has been a terrible year for me,” he said.
For now, Ono will have to wait until next year to get back on track. “I have to get back to training and aim for the Masters tournaments and the Olympics.”
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