kung fu moves · 08/12/2023

Judo – The end of the era of Japan’s gold medal monopoly

The end of the judo Japanese gold monopoly era

Judo – The end of the era of Japan’s gold medal monopoly-illustration-
Judo has always been a proud national sport of the Japanese.

When the first World Judo Championships (1956) were held, Japanese athletes “seemed to be performing without any threat”, and they “preferred to make a mistake themselves than let foreign competitors get hurt”.

At the second World Championship two years later, facing the challenges of Hesinko (Netherlands), Balise (France) and others, the Japanese players only believed that “as long as they are not negligent, the championship will be secure”. As a result, Natsukai Seiyoshi and Yasuharu Sone won the championships of these two editions (at that time, there was only one undifferentiated division).

However, at the third World Championship, the Japanese player lost in front of Hesinko. In that match, Akio Kaminaga, Takeshi Koga, and Yasuharu Sone, the previous champion who reached the final, all fell at the feet of Kuroshinko.

In fact, they should have found the rise of judo in Europe in the last session, and at this time, the international judo scene was already in danger for Japan. However, the paralyzed Japanese judo community is still insensitive, and even thinks that “Kuroshinko is just an accidental monster”, “only to him, the level of foreign judo is several paragraphs worse than in Japan”, and the voice of reflection cannot be heard. Therefore, at the Tokyo Olympics (1964), where weight distinction was first introduced, it was a success.

Judo – The end of the era of Japan’s gold medal monopoly-illustration-1
At this time, the Japanese judo world was like a hornet’s nest that had been stabbed, and although the “reconstruction case” was thrown, it could not stop the impact of foreign athletes.

After Heschenko, Ruska (Netherlands) won the heavyweight competition at the 5th World Championship (1967 in Salt Lake City, USA) and the 7th World Championship (1971, Ludwigshafen, West Germany). In other divisions, Japanese players are also increasingly challenged.

For almost two decades, from the fourth World Championship (Rio de Janeiro, 1965) to the Moscow World Championship (1984), Japan has only been undefeated in all divisions for the sixth (Mexico City, 1961) and eighth (Lausanne, 1973). Japan also had a difficult time at the Olympic Games, with half of the gold medals in Munich (1972) and Montreal (1976) robbing foreign athletes each time.

Since then, whether it is the World Championships or the Olympic Games, the days when Japan monopolized the gold medal are basically gone. They no longer dare to say such bold words as “dominance in all levels”. (Compiled by Han Ping)