What will the future of Eguchi Rin bring? The tiny Japanese captured the cadet world title in Almaty and gave Japan a stable lead in the medal tally. Rin is the second girl U57kg to take the world title for Japan. Ryoko Takeda was the first in 2015 and she won the world title three years later, last year in Nassau. Echuchi’s road to success started in Almaty.
The first final of the day opposed two judoka who started from the depths of the world ranking. A contest between the tradition embodied by Eguchi Rin and the Brazilian school so marked by the Japanese culture, represented by Sarah Sousa. Not many didn't expect them, but they arrived, and they arrived to stay.
So, the final had airs of novelty. The Japanese won thanks to an excellent job in ne-waza, topped with an ippon by osae-komi. Japan was already boiling.
The fight for bronze medals was an exclusively European affair. The Dutch Alexe Wagemaker won the first by defeating Italian Antonietta Palumbo by ippon in just over a minute.
The second was for Russia by the hand of Kseniia Galitskaia, who beat the Romanian Florentina Ivanescu with an exceptional ura-nage.
Eguchi confirmed that the world championships are her first international competition and she gave us a master class of what a judoka has to do when conditions are not ideal. “All my oppponents had arms and legs longer than me. I had to adjust my judo as the matches were passing. I felt that my level was improving. Upon reaching the final I thought I was willing to give everything I had taken advantage of, what I had learned throughout the day. And it worked”, she concluded, and Japan taught its intentions.