Former World Champion Hifumi Abe (JPN) and World Champion Maruyama Yoshiro (JPN) were the protagonists of an epic Judo Contest to determine Japan’s Men’s 64 kilogram representative at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, in a fight with the level -if not more- than an Olympic final.
The math was held in closed doors in the Kodokan Institute in Tokyo. It was followed via livestream from around All of Japan and other countries in the world. The match was extremely contested from the beginning.
Abe was more aggressive but was not successful when he tried to turn Yoshiro around either from an upper position or going down to the mat to try to roll him down. Several times they went on stalemates while engaging at the limit of the tatami.
The contest went to golden point. The last couple of minutes were very interesting, with both judokas focusing on each other’s hands ti try to execute a technique. Nearing the 20-minute mark Abe was able to pull one through, an o uchi gari throw that sealed the victory and gave him the Olympic pass.
Abe, who was bleeding from his nose right before the golden point, will join his sister Uta, as part of the local Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Team Japan. He is favorite for gold.