Masashi Ebinuma, who claimed judo Olympic bronze medals in the men’s 66-kg division at the last two Olympics, will compete at 73 kg, an informed source said Thursday.
The 27-year-old Ebinuma won his third straight 66-kg world championship in 2014. In June, he returned to competition following last year’s Rio Olympics, but that was in a corporate team competition.
Ebinuma’s first individual meet since Rio will be at August’s national corporate championships, where he will compete at 73 kgs. Some years ago, Ebinuma typically weighed around 75 kgs and making weight to compete at 66 kgs was an issue.
Moving forward, Ebinuma will be on a collision course with Shohei Ono, Japan’s reigning Olympic champ at 73 kg, and Soichi Hashimoto, who will represent Japan at the worlds in August.