CHIBA – Kosei Inoue, Japan men’s judo head coach, suggested things were looking up for the 2020 Olympics following the conclusion of the two-day Kodokan Cup on Sunday.
“The 2020 generation of international athletes have arrived and the prospects are bright,” he said. “We must keep striving to become deeper in each weight class.”
The final day at Chiba Port Arena outside Tokyo saw Yusei Ogawa, the son of Olympic silver medalist Naoya Ogawa, capture his first title in the men’s over-100 kg division, defeating London Olympian Daiki Kamikawa by ippon in the final.
Kentaro Iida and Shoichiro Mukai also won their first Kodokan championships in 100 kg and 90 kg, respectively.
Teenager Uta Abe, the 17-year-old women’s world junior 52 kg champion, won her first title, defeating Rina Tatsukawa in the final.
Japan women’s head coach, Katsuyuki Masuchi praised Abe’s improvement.
“Abe has really developed over this past year,” Masuchi said. “She showed no signs of falling apart as she used to at times, and you could sense her determination to throw her opponent until the very last.”
Hiromi Endo, who was third in the 48 kg last year, broke through to win the division for the first time, while Anzu Yamamoto won her first 57 kg title in five years, and Masako Doi captured her first championship at 63 kg.