by Krzysztof Wiłkomirski
IJF Marina Mayorova / International Judo Federation
Everyone knows very well that the Sunday battle between Abe and Maruyama could as well be the Olympic final. These Japanese are not really losing, they are the best in the -66 kg category. And it is obvious that, as in the Kodokan, at the Olympics, one loser would come off the mat. And defeat always hurts, but if Abe’s Sunday fight with Maruyama had been the Olympic final, it would probably hurt a little less.
And yet there are many more such examples at the moment. In order not to look far; two fantastic Canadian players. The current world champion Christa Deguchi (2. IJF WRL 6456 pts.) and the leader of the world ranking Jessica Klimkait (1. IJF WRL 6630 pts.). Both have a significant advantage over the other competitors.
That’s a quick question now. Which of them does not deserve to start in Tokyo and will not get a chance to fulfill their sports dream?
Without much effort, many more examples can be mentioned, in which outstanding individuals will not receive the honor of competing for Olympic gold only because of their nationality, and many of them are world champions.
Japanese (men) Ryuju Nagajama – 1. WRL 6350 pts. and Naohisa Takato – 3.WRL 5270 pts.,
as well as Soichi Hashimoto – 2. WRL 6379 pts. and Shohei Ono – 4. WRL 4000 pts.
Japanese (women) Uta Abe – 2. WRL 6250 pts. and Ai Shishime – 3. WRL 5700 pts.
Frenchwomen Marie Eve Gahie 1. WRL 6220 pts. and Margaux Pinot – 2. WRL 5599 pts.
Dutchwomen Sanne Van Dijke 3. WRL 5080 pts. and Kim Polling – 6. WRL 4483 pts.
Frenchwomen Madeleine Malonga 1. WRL 6259 pts. and Fanny Estelle Posvite – 3. WRL 5160 pts.
Brazilian Maria Suelen Altheman 1. WRL 5818 pts. and Beatriz Souza – 6. WRL 4980 pts.,
Japanese (women) Akira Sone 2. WRL 5550 pts. Sarah Asahina – 5. WRL 5227 pts.
Half of the players from these pairs will stay at home. There are many such examples even in the top 10 of the World Ranking, even in each category. Take for example U78kg with not yet mentioned battles between Wagner vs Malzahn in Germany, Steenhuis vs Verkerk in the Netherlands, Babintceva vs Shmeleva in Russia, Ma vs Chen in China and so on.
We beg it will not be decided in one contest. It’s to cruel, but it is also the beauty of sports. We’re all hooked for the passion of sport, but feel the pain as we recognise it… albeit not at this level.
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