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Kosei Inoue: Japanese mixed team gold give good outlook for future
23 Oct 2017 16:20
Japan took their imperious form from the individual categories into the first Mixed Team event at the Junior World Championships as they won gold on the last day of the competition. The scintillating mixed team event will be part of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games programme as countries see their best men and women link-up with national pride, international acclaim and silverware all at stake.
Russia won the first ever Mixed Team gold at the Cadet World Championships in August before Japan clinched the senior version in Budapest and now again at junior level.
The first Junior Mixed Team event featured eight judoka in a team (four men and four women) in the following weight categories: W -48kg, M -60kg, W -57kg, M -73kg, W -70kg, M -90kg, W +70 and M +90kg.
Japan overpowered the field of 16 teams to win the junior team title with a merciless display as they made sure that the Japanese anthem would be the only one played on the last day of the event.
Japan’s head coach Kosei Inoue said he was pleased with the team and individual results but that there was still room for improvement.
“I am happy with the results and what I have seen here in Zagreb,” said the Sydney 2000 Olympic champion and three-time world champion.
“The women’s team won six of the eight medals available but the men’s team only won two gold medals. I hope they can show more in the future but today everybody did well in the team event.
“The team event is very important for Japan, it is important to bring these titles back to Japan and to represent our country with pride and a strong performance.
“We are now preparing for the Kodokan Cup 2017 which is a key domestic event and offers judoka the chance to earn a place at the Tokyo Grand Slam. From there, by winning a medal at the Tokyo Grand Slam, Japanese judoka will earn international selections for events such as the Paris Grand Slam and Düsseldorf Grand Prix.”
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Andrea Krisandova (SVK)