LONDON – Takamasa Anai suffered a shock second-round defeat at the hands of Czech Lukas Krpalek in the men’s judo 100 kg Thursday, sending a cloud of despair over the Japanese team with one day remaining in the competition at the London Olympics.
Adding insult to injury, Akari Ogata lost to Dutchwoman Marhinde Verkerk in the women’s 78-kg class in the second round, leaving no Japanese judoka remaining in the tournament on the sixth day.
Things got off to a fluid start for the 27-year-old Anai in his second match of the day, with the 2010 world champion taking the advantage with his aggressive leg trips early on.
But after Krpalek brought him to the mat on an attempted back rolling circle throw, the Czech used his power to flip Anai, placing the Japanese ace into a side-four-quarter hold to score an ippon victory.
Japan’s men have yet to win gold in judo at these Summer Games, with only Daiki Kamikawa left to try on the last day in the heaviest over-100-kg class on Friday.
The country has never failed to win a gold medal in men’s judo in every tournament it has participated in since the 1964 Tokyo Games.
Anai, who was making his Olympic debut, methodically broke down local favorite James Austin in his first match, starting off slowly before unleashing a series of foot sweeps that the Briton could barely fend off.
After his opponent received three shido for passivity, giving Anai a 10-0 lead, the four-time national invitational weight-class champion showed off his stuff with a perfectly executed sleeve-lift hip throw, though time had already expired.
The 21-year-old Ogata, the 2011 world silver medalist, won her first match against South Korean Jeong Gyeong Mi on a yuko point.
She took a 2-1 lead on a counter throw in her second match against Verkerk, but the Dutchwoman tossed Ogata to the mat for waza-ari with under 30 seconds remaining.