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Tachimoto and Ogata relieved with common sense decision AJJF
5 Mar 2015 18:00
Common sense prevails at the All Japan Judo Federation. Fortunately for Akari Ogata and Haruka Tachimoto the decision a one year penalty was dropped. The two athletes, Ogata and Tachimoto were relieved after a press conference tonight in Japan where AJJF director changed his decision.
A relief, not only for the two athletes Ogata and Tachimoto who would for sure miss the National Championships in April. The All Japan is the most important qualifying event for the remaining tournaments. Also international athletes can see this as a proof that common sense prevails. Although it was a stupid mistake by the athletes, who got a firm warning, but in fact it could happen to anyone. They didn’t compete in Düsseldorf which was probably a “life-saving” decision.
In 2013 Ivan Vorobev was caught for some prohibit substance in his consumption, but he won bronze at the World Championships and was held out of competition for a year.
After an over-the-counter cold medicine with Methylephedrine was discovered their situation was hopeless. But we may think that Yasuhiro Yamashita may have interfered, Yamashita was the sensei of Haruka Tachimoto.
If the ladies can compete at the All Japan Championships there’s a good hope that they can continue to strive for Rio2016 although their 2012 Olympic places suffers quiet some competition of other strong athletes U70 and U78kg. Chizuru Arai who won both the European Cup in Sofia as well as the Grand Prix in Düsseldorf now ranked 8 in the world U70kg. Karen Nun-Ira is ranked 15th now and is a second candidate for this division U70kg.
Akari Ogata was not even in the top 100, now ranked 119, and her place was virtually taken by Ruika Sato, now ranked 18th and youngster Mami Umeki (23).
Also it is smart financial decision for the AJJF as the sponsor of Tachimoto is also sponsor of the AJJF. With a clean sheet and just a shido that damage will disappear soon if we can see the return of the smile of Tachimoto.
The All Japan Championships will be held 4-5 April in Fukuoka.
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Celine Langrenez (NED)