Home » Judo news
The latest Judo News offered by JudoInside.com
Koreans optimistic with aim for 3 gold medals in Rio
21 Jun 2016 12:50
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
Related Judo Videos
Related Judo News
The men’s tournament U90kg isn’t as strong as a few years ago, still there are many players who have about the same capabilities, so it all depends on the form of the day, the mindset and the skills. Read more
At the Asian Games in Jakarta Gwak Dong-Han defeated Olympic Champion Mashu Baker in the semi final by ippon and claimed the Asian Games title in the final against Gantulga Altanbagana (MGL). The 2015 World Champion from Korea won bronze in 2014 and gold in the team event. Read more
The Asian Games delivered a tempting draw in Jakarta. On Wednesday the Asian Games will kick off with a strong field. When you look at the U60kg field the seeded players Dashdavaa, Urozboev, Smetov and Shishime are obviously separated. Read more
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
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
Anastasia Gorban (RUS)
|1||Tel Aviv||27 Apr|