• Kyodo

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Men’s 73-kg Rio Olympic gold medalist Shohei Ono will sit out the national invitational weight class championships in Fukuoka next month to focus on his academic studies, the All Japan Judo Federation said Wednesday.

His withdrawal from the April 1-2 invitational meet at Fukuoka Kokusai Center means he will most likely miss out on a place at the world championships this summer. The Fukuoka meet serves as a qualifier for the worlds in Budapest.

Ono, who booked his Olympic berth through the same tournament last year, has taken time out of competition since Rio and not taken part in any domestic or overseas qualifiers for the worlds.

He said he has not been able to prepare for the worlds as he has been putting priority on writing his thesis as a graduate student at Tenri University.

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