News

The latest Judo News offered by JudoInside.com

Koreans optimistic with aim for 3 gold medals in Rio

21 Jun 2016 12:50

 yonhapnews.co.kr    Judojang
2016_Korean Team

With the Rio de Janeiro Summer Games less than 50 days away, South Korean judokas will focus on beating their rivals from Japan and improving their stamina to do so, the national team head coach said. Seo Jung-Bok said the South Korean national judo team is in the home stretch for the Rio Games and instead of building up skills, the athletes are concentrating on maintaining their form and analyzing their toughest opponents.

"Having good stamina is a basic element not only in judo, but in all other sports," he said at the National Training Center in Seoul. "This is the time when our athletes need to boost their stamina."

At the Summer Games, South Korea will have seven male and five female judokas. The squad will depart for Sao Paulo on July 22 to set up a base camp before entering Rio on Aug. 3.

Seo said stamina is the key to overcoming European judokas' power and Japanese athletes' technique. If enhancing stamina is the basic thing task, giving the judokas experience and making them adapt to their opponents' style is another task for Seo and his coaching staff. Each national team member now has a sparring partner who will help and give tips on how to battle.

"These training partners have a style that our judokas feel is the most difficult," Seo said. "I will say it is customized training to improve their weaknesses."

Seo said South Korea's goal at the Rio Games will be overthrowing its archrival Japan. The coach said he expects South Korean judokas to collect three gold medals in Rio, with two from the men's side.

It remains a concern that the South Koreans have struggled against the Japanese, even the No. 1, ranked athletes.

Kim Won-Jin, the top judoka in the men's 60kg, is 0-4 against Takato Naohisa, while An Ba-Ul in 66kg has not beaten Ebinuma Masashi in their two encounters. An Chang-rim in the 73kg has also lost all four of his matches against Ono Shohei. "If we can beat the Japanese judokas, I think we will grab gold medals as we want," Seo said. "Our athletes also know that Japan is their biggest barrier to the goal."

To adjust to the Japanese judokas' style, the South Koreans trained in Japan from June 7 to 18. The national team worked out with collegiate judokas, but that experience still helped. "They have learned what the Japanese judo style is like," Seo said. "Now they can train with a strategy on what they should be careful of and what they are capable of."

The South Korean judokas said they have a chance to stand atop the podium if they can edge out their Japanese opponents. "In my training, I'm implementing the things that I've learned in Japan," said An Ba-ul, the defending world champion in 66kg. "I know I've been weak against the Japanese athletes, but I'm preparing well. I will grab the gold medal over them."

For An Chang-Rim, losing to a Japanese judoka is a result that he wants to avoid more than anyone else. The 22-year-old, born to second-generation Japanese-Korean parents in Kyoto, rejected an offer to join the Japanese national team in 2013, citing discrimination. An said he learned the importance of training with the South Korean national team.

"My physique is good and I think my mental strength also got better," he said. "I don't want to lose to the Japanese judokas, but if emotions get the better of me, it will ruin my performance. I will fight as usual when I face the Japanese."

Seo said he's pleased that the team atmosphere is great and everybody is united for the Rio Games. While everything is on the way, Seo warned that this time around, injuries are the biggest enemy.

"They know that they have to be careful about it," he said. "Even if you lose because of an injury, that is still a defeat. Our judokas know that is the saddest scenario, and they are doing their best to stay healthy."

Related judoka and events

Related Judo Photos

  • ChangRim An (KOR) - © Judojang
  • ChangRim An (KOR) - © Judojang
  • ChangRim An (KOR) - Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro (2016, BRA) - © Judojang

Related Judo Videos

Related Judo News

20180527_hohhotgp_ijf_day3_final_90_gwak_donghan

Fourth Grand Prix gold for DongHan Gwak

27 May 2018 14:45

Former world champion Gwak Donghan of Korea helped to send his country to second place in the medal table by outfighting Ekaterinburg Grand Slam bronze medallist Gantulga Altanbagana (MGL). Olympic bronze medallist Gwak was the favourite against the 2017 Antalya Grand Prix winner from Mongolia and lived up to his billing as he forced Gantulga to make three infringements in the final. Read more

20171217_masters_stpetersburg_podium_90

Georgian golden boy Beka Gviniashvili wins second Masters title

17 Dec 2017 18:10

Beka Gviniashvili was back among the World Judo Masters winners as he repeated his 2015 triumph with a fine day of judo in St. Petersburg. Gviniashvili seemingly saved his best judo of the year for the final competition of the season as he defeated world bronze medallist Gwak Donghan (KOR) in the U90kg final with a polished performance. Read more

20150923_Zagreb_IJF_action_Lola Benarroche

French team good for 17 medals at European Cup Malaga

29 Oct 2017 22:05

The team of France dominated the European Cup in Malaga with six gold medals and nineteen medals in total. A strong Korean was present and took five gold medals. Host Spain was unlucky with three lost finals but captured eleven medals in total. Read more

20170901_budapest_100_90_nemanja_majdov_kr_1881_2

Nemanja Majdov surprises the world with first Serbian world title

1 Sep 2017 21:15

Serbia started the day with their greatest opportunity to realise their dream of crowning a world judo champion but instead of world number one Aleksandar Kukolj it was a 21-year-old Worlds debutant who ruled the sport. World number 23 and double Junior European Champion Nemanja Majdov was the first shock finalist in the U90kg category and was then joined by world number 14 Mihael Zgank (SLO). Read more

2017_budapest_jic_jh_90_kukolj_aleksandar

Strong European block U90kg against World Champion Gwak Dong-Han

1 Sep 2017 05:05

The top favourite for the U90kg world title in Budapest this year is hard to pick. There are many athletes with legitimate shots at the medal stand. A hot contender is Aleksandar Kukolj of Serbia, the reigning European champion, with his superb groundwork and confidence that he can be the first Serbian man to reach the podium. Read more

Judo birthday

Result City Date
1Ekaterinburg18 Mar
1Godine4 Mar
1Budapest2017
5St. Petersburg2017
1The Hague2017
Result City Date
2Tarragona28 Jun
5Hohhot27 May
2Tel Aviv28 Apr
2Antalya8 Apr
5Agadir11 Mar

Partners

First description Second description Third description Four description