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Olympics Rio 2016 (2016年近代オリンピック:リオ)

Discussion in 'Chatterbox' started by CoolKevin, Aug 4, 2016.

  1. Ceewan

    Ceewan Famished

    Matsumoto wins bronze

    RIO DE JANEIRO — Kaori Matsumoto won the bronze medal on Monday in women’s 57-kilogram division at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

    Matsumoto, 28, who hails from Kanazawa, started practicing judo at 6. She won her major title at the Kodokan Cup national weight-class championships in 2007, then debuted at the world championships in 2009, finishing 5th.

    She rose to the stardom at the 2010 world championships, becoming the first-ever Japanese judoka to win the 57-kilogram division. In 2012, she again brought Japan a first-ever title, this time winning the gold medal in the division at the London Games in her Olympic debut.

    She saved face for Japan’s judo team at London, as her victory was the lone gold Japan was able to win. None of the male judoka stood atop the podium for the first time since judo became an official sport at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.
    CoolKevin likes this.
  2. Ceewan

    Ceewan Famished

    Olympics: Haneda wins Japan's first medal in canoe slalom


    RIO DE JANEIRO (Kyodo) -- Takuya Haneda wrote his name in Japanese Olympic history at the Rio Games on Tuesday, becoming the first athlete from the country to win an Olympic medal in canoe slalom.

    The 29-year-old from Toyota, Aichi Prefecture, added Olympic bronze to the gold medal he won at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea.

    Haneda had a touch-free run down the artificial river at Rio 2016's brand new Whitewater Stadium, negotiating the 12-gate course in 97.44 seconds, without incurring a penalty.

    He demonstrated further his affinity for the Olympic course, after he finished second in the test event held on the same waters in 2015.

    "I have been preparing for a long time for these Olympics and I knew I had to win a medal," said Haneda. "This is the first canoe medal in an Olympics for Japan and I am so honored that I got the bronze."

    "I don't think anyone believed that a Japanese would win a medal in this event. I really feel like I have finally achieved something. I didn't make any big mistakes in the heats or the semifinal or final and I think that was the best performance of my career," he said.

    "I was in third place when the last competitor (Germany's Sideris Tasiadis) went and I could feel my heart pounding while I was watching him."

    "The moment I realized he had finished below me and I had won the bronze, all the strain and all the effort I have put in until now suddenly welled up in my heart, and before I knew it I was in tears," Haneda added.

    The gold medalist from France, Denis Gargaud Chanut, the 2011 world champion, negotiated the course in 94.17. He enjoyed a clean run, as did silver winner Matej Benus of Slovakia (95.02).

    Haneda made a career-changing decision in 2006 when he picked up and moved to canoe slalom mecca Slovakia from Japan, which has no international-level artificial whitewater facilities.

    He made the move in order to train with top athletes -- a call that has clearly paid off.

    "If I had not made the decision to go to Europe and train when I was 18, then there is no way I would be sitting here now," said Haneda.

    Haneda placed 14th on his Olympic debut at the 2008 Beijing Games and bettered that performance by placing seventh four years ago in London.
    CoolKevin likes this.
  3. Ceewan

    Ceewan Famished

    SWIMMING / Unheralded Sakai takes 200m butterfly silver

    RIO DE JANEIRO — Japan’s Masato Sakai won silver in the men’s 200-meter butterfly, clocking 1:53.40 — only .04 seconds behind the winner, Micheal Phelps, at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics on Tuesday.

    Sakai’s fellow countryman Daiya Seto finished fifth.

    Phelps took his 20th Olympic gold medal with a time of 1:53.36, while Hungary’s Tamas Kenderesi earned the bronze.

    Defending Olympic champion Chad le Clos of South Africa finished fourth.
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  4. Ceewan

    Ceewan Famished

    JUDO / Nagase wins bronze

    RIO DE JANEIRO — Takanori Nagase won judo bronze medal in the men’s 81-kilogram division on Tuesday at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics. This was his first appearance at the Games.

    Nagase, 22, hails from the city of Nagasaki. He started judo in his first year at primary school.

    While a student at the University of Tsukuba, Nagase took part in the open-weight All-Japan Judo Championships in 2014, beating heavyweights to reach the semifinal. He became world champion in August last year.
    CoolKevin likes this.
  5. Ceewan

    Ceewan Famished

    Japan's Uchimura rallies for second gold in men's gymnastics


    RIO DE JANEIRO--Kohei Uchimura's gold-medal haul keeps growing.

    The superstar gymnast from Japan won the men's all-around title on Wednesday night, edging Ukranian Oleg Verniaiev by less than a tenth of the point to capture his second straight Olympic gold.

    Uchimura trailed heading into the final rotation but put up a dazzling 15.8 on high bar. Verniaiev followed with a less challenging routine and hopped forward on the dismount.

    Needing 14.9 to win, Verniaiev instead earned a 14.8. The crowd groaned when the score was revealed, though Verniaiev shrugged his shoulders as if to say "what can you do?"

    Uchimura finished with a total of 92.365, just ahead of Verniaiev's 92.266.

    Max Whitlock of Great Britain was third, just ahead of Russia's David Belyavskiy. American Sam Mikulak recovered from a fall on vault to rally to seventh. Chris Brooks was 14th.

    Uchimura arrived in Rio as the overwhelming favorite to back up the all-around gold he won in London four years ago. Yet the six-time world champion said repeatedly his ultimate goal was a team gold for Japan. He got that triumphant moment on Monday night, when he guided the Japanese to the top of the podium for the first time since 2004 with a nearly flawless finishing kick on floor exercise.

    The 27-year-old was visibly gassed when he completed his routine, a victory he said was set in motion when his team won the world title last fall. It offered proof to the judges the Japanese could come through when it mattered.

    While Uchimura was exulting in triumph, Verniaiev was basically just warming up. Ukraine qualified for the team final but basically gave up when Maksym Semiankiv couldn't participate in the finals due to injury. Rather that put in a replacement athlete to fill in for Semiankiv, Ukraine instead just entered two athletes instead of three, dooming whatever medal chances they had.

    Verniaiev shrugged off the decision, saying it gave him freedom to just go out and have fun. It also allowed him to move his focus toward the all-around.

    He looked well prepared, taking the lead through two rotations and answering every time it seemed Uchimura threw down a challenge. When Uchimura drilled a 15.566 on vault--the highest of the night on the event--Verniaiev responded with a 15.500. His superb 16.1 on parallel bars--his legs straight as pencils during his handstands--gave him a commanding lead going into the final event on high bar.

    Yet Uchimura, the world champion on high bar, put on a spectacular show. He threw four difficult release moves, his body soaring over the bar before catching it just in time. Verniaiev took a slightly different tact. Knowing what he needed to win Ukraine's first ever all-around Olympic gold in the sport, he put together an easier and less risky routine.

    When he landed, he took a hop forward and leaned ever so briefly to the left. He pumped his fist and encouraged the crowd as he exited the podium, then bent over in disappointment afterward.

    Mikulak and Brooks, hoping to take some of the sting out of another fifth-place finish in the team event, couldn't match the bronze in the all-around teammate Danell Leyva captured in London. Brooks, the 29-year-old captain, hit all six of his sets without a major mistake to end a remarkable run in which he came from nowhere to make his first Olympic team.

    Mikulak, a four-time national champion, was hoping to make an international splash but saw his hopes of reaching the podium end when he shorted his vault landing during his third rotation.
  6. Ceewan

    Ceewan Famished

    Japan sweeps judo golds at Rio Olympics in middleweights
    Haruka Tachimoto, white, competes against, Colombia's Yadinys Amaris for the gold medal during the women's 70-kg judo competition at at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Aug. 10.

    RIO DE JANEIRO--Japan swept the judo gold medals at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics on Wednesday, taking the top spot in both men's and women's middleweight divisions.

    Haruka Tachimoto struck gold first by defeating triple world champion Yuri Alvear in the women's 70-kilogram division.

    Despite being penalized for passivity in the first minutes of the final--and a partisan crowd cheering against her--Tachimoto managed to pin Alvear to the ground for 20 seconds, scoring an ippon victory that automatically ends the bout.

    Alvear, 30, won a bronze at the London Olympics. She was Colombia's flag bearer at the opening ceremony.

    After a disappointing seventh-place finish at the London Games, Tachimoto said she refocused her style, training in Mongolia and England, and honing a more defensive, counterattacking style that she used to defeat Alvear.

    The women's bronze medals were won by Britain's Sally Conway and Germany's Laura Vargas Koch.

    A short time after the women's medal competition ended, Japan's Mashu Baker took the judo gold in the men's 90-kilogram division.

    The second-seeded Baker, 21, defeated Georgia's Varlam Liparteliani in a cagey final in which Baker managed to score only once. Like Tachimoto, he too was booed by the crowd, which expressed disapproval that Baker appeared to be withdrawing from the fight in its final minutes. But with Liparteliani failing to score, Baker's one throw was enough to win.

    Baker, whose father is American, trained at the Kodokan, the spiritual home of the Japanese martial art and its most famed dojo after starting judo at age 6. Baker has won four judo Grand Slam titles and took a bronze at last year's world championships. He was raised by his mother in Japan and said he was dedicating his gold medal to her. She traveled with him to Rio.

    "To be an Olympic champion was my dream when I was young, so I'm very happy now," he said. Baker acknowledged that he fought defensively in the latter part of the fight, seeking to protect his slight lead by not risking being attacked by Liparteliani.

    Liparteliani was seeded fifth and fought at the London Olympics but got knocked out in the second round. The loss left him in tears and he struggled to maintain his composure through the medals ceremony.

    The men's bronze medals were won by South Korea's Donghan Gwak and China's Xunzhao Cheng.

    Japan's two golds Wednesday put the country atop the judo medal table, adding to the gold already won by Shohei Ono in the men's 73-kilogram division Monday. Although Japan dominated for years at the Olympics in the martial art it developed, the country had its worst performance at the London Games, where it won only one gold.

    "We have to perform graciously and courageously because Japan is the home of judo," Tachimoto said after her win. "Judo is one of the most important sports to the Japanese people, and they expect gold medals."
    Japan's Mashu Baker, white, competes against Georgia's Varlam Liparteliani for the gold medal during the men's 90-kg judo competition at at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Aug. 10, 2016.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2016
  7. Ceewan

    Ceewan Famished

    Japan shock again to reach rugby semi-finals

    RIO DE JANEIRO--Fiji sent New Zealand home, Japan continued their fairytale run to the semi-finals and Britain edged Argentina amid the high drama of extra time as the inaugural Olympic sevens tournament got down to the final four on Wednesday.

    South Africa completed the quartet of nations who will play off for the first medals to be awarded in men's rugby for 92 years on Thursday after beating Australia 22-5 in the only quarter-final victory that could be described as comfortable.

    World series champions Fiji's clash with New Zealand was an encounter that many thought would take place in the final until the All Blacks were stunned by Japan on Tuesday and beaten again by Britain in their final pool match on Wednesday.

    Depleted by injuries to Sonny Bill Williams, Joe Webber and Scott Curry, the 12-times world series champions sneaked into the last eight when Fiji beat the United States in the last match of the opening round.

    Fiji defied the wet conditions by opening the match with a magnificent move that took them from under their own posts to the New Zealand line in series of charges and handoffs, captain Osea Kolinisau touching down.

    Gillies Kaka replied for New Zealand off a chip-and-chase while his team mate Rieko Ioane was in the sin-bin for a high tackle, but Jerry Tuwai skipped through the All Blacks defense to secure a 12-7 victory and set up a meeting with Japan.

    "We've got one aim and that's to win gold medal," said Fiji's loquacious coach Ben Ryan.

    "We're number one in the world, we're not trying to be arrogant, we're saying this is what we want. Silver will be as disappointing as bronze or fourth place."

    Japan, ranked 10th out of the 12 teams that started the tournament, later added France to their list of victims on the remarkable run that has captured the imagination of the next Olympic host nation.

    In a dramatic finish, the Japanese were trailing 7-5 with 16 seconds on the clock when Teruya Goto managed to force his way over the line.

    "I can't explain it, we just train hard and somehow put it together on the pitch," said Japan's New Zealand born Lomano Lemeki.

    "There's no pressure on us, the pressure's on the big teams, they are the ones supposed to be winning the medals, not us."

    Even that finish was nothing compared to the drama that played out in the third quarter-final, which was only decided when Britain's Dan Bibby crashed through the Argentine defense four minutes into golden point extra time.

    The match had remained deadlocked through a highly entertaining 14 minutes with Argentina skipper Gaston Revol failing in his attempt to win the match with a drop kick penalty goal in the dying seconds.

    His Britain counterpart Tom Mitchell also failed with a similar attempt after three minutes of extra time but, less than a minute later, Bibby finally got the first points of the match to set up the meeting with South Africa.
  8. Ceewan

    Ceewan Famished

    Japan's relay swimmers pass on freestyle legacy with Rio bronze

    RIO DE JANEIRO -- At the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games, Japan's swimmers in the men's 4x200 meter freestyle relay won a bronze medal. This legacy has now breathed life into a sport that was once the nation's specialty, as Japan on Aug. 9 claimed its first Olympic medal in the event in 52 years.

    The team's oldest swimmer, 32-year-old Takeshi Matsuda, expressed hope for the future after Japan's accomplishment.

    "With this medal, I hope that young athletes will make Japan's freestyle swimming even stronger," he said.

    Before World War II, Japan excelled at men's freestyle swimming. It won gold medals in the men's 4x200 relay at the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles and the 1936 Games in Berlin. Japan was not invited to the London Olympics in 1948 after its defeat in the war, but it is a well-known story that at that time, Japanese swimmer Hironoshin Furuhashi, who was nicknamed the "Flying Fish of Fujiyama," swam the 1,500-meter freestyle in a faster time than the Olympic champion.

    At the 1964 Games, however, many Japanese swimmers were beaten, with Japan's only swimming medal coming in the men's 4x200 meter relay.

    Analysis of the defeat led Japan to conclude that it was necessary to get Japanese children into the water at a young age, and privately operated swimming schools started cropping up across Japan. The nation's swimming population grew in leaps and bounds, and training by age category commenced. However, the country's revival in Olympic medals started with the breaststroke and backstroke, in which it could overcome the physical handicap of competing with European and American swimmers through technique.

    Gaining confidence that they could compete with the rest of the world, Japanese swimmers started putting more effort into freestyle, and on Aug. 9, those competing for Japan in the freestyle relay finally managed to crown the country with a bronze medal.

    Now as Japan prepares to host the 2020 Olympic Games, Japanese swimmers have left another legacy that will encourage the country to aim for medals that shine even brighter. (By Tatsuya Haga, Mainichi Shimbun)

    From left to right, Takeshi Matsuda, Kosuke Hagino, Yuki Kobori and Naito Ehara celebrate after they won the bronze medal in the men's 4x200-meter freestyle relay at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, on Aug. 9, 2016. (Mainichi Photo/Masahiro Ogawa)
  9. Ceewan

    Ceewan Famished

    Injured Fukushima, Suzuki to pull out of athletics events

    RIO DE JANEIRO (Kyodo) -- Chisato Fukushima and Ayuko Suzuki will withdraw from two events in the upcoming athletics competition at the Rio Olympics, the Japanese Olympic Committee said Wednesday.

    Fukushima will not take part in the first round of the women's 100 meters due to a sore left hamstring, while Suzuki has opted out of the women's 10,000 meters citing a left foot injury. Both events are scheduled to be held Friday.

    Fukushima, who holds the national record in the 100 and 200 meters, claimed a 100-200 double at the national championships in June. She experienced discomfort in her hamstring during training in New Jersey last week.

    Fukushima is hoping to recover in time for Monday's 200 preliminaries, while Suzuki, who placed ninth in the 5,000 at the world championships last year, aims to compete in the 5,000 on Aug. 16.
  10. Ceewan

    Ceewan Famished

    Rie Kaneto wins gold in women's 200-meter breaststroke at Rio
    Rie Kaneto raises her fist after winning the women's 200-meter breaststroke at the Rio Olympics on Aug. 11, 2016.

    Rie Kaneto won the gold medal in women's 200-meter breaststroke with a time of 2:20.30 at the Rio Olympics on Aug. 11. More to follow.
  11. Ceewan

    Ceewan Famished

    Jun Mizutani wins bronze in men's singles table tennis at Rio


    Jun Mizutani makes a fist after winning the first set of a game against Vladimir Samsonov in men's singles table tennis at the Rio Olympics, on Aug. 11, 2016

    Jun Mizutani won the bronze medal in men's singles table tennis in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics by beating Vladimir Samsonov of Belarus 4-1 on Aug. 11.
  12. Ceewan

    Ceewan Famished


    Not bad Japan...not bad
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  13. Ceewan

    Ceewan Famished

    Japan's men's judoka win medals in all divisions for first time since 1964
    9. Hisayoshi Harasawa goes on the offensive against France's Teddy Riner in the men's over 100-kilogram judo, at the Carioca Arena in Rio de Janeiro on Aug. 12, 2016. (Mainichi Photo, Masahiro Ogawa)

    RIO DE JANEIRO -- Japan's Hisayoshi Harasawa won the silver medal in the men's over 100-kilogram class judo, as Japan's athletes in men's judo took medals in all the weight divisions for the first time since the 1964 Olympics.

    Harasawa was the last of Japan's male judoka to compete in this Olympics. The final medal count for Japan's men's judo was two golds, one silver and four bronzes. While there have been seven weight divisions in Olympic judo since the 1988 Seoul Olympics, the last time Japan took medals in all divisions, at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, judo had just been introduced and there were only four weight classes.

    "They have become seven athletes who carved their names in history. I am proud of them," said a tearful Kosei Inoue, head coach of Japan's men's judo team.

    This Olympic journey began from a position of humiliation. At the previous Olympics in London four years ago, Japanese men's judoka left without any gold medals for the first time in any Olympics since judo became an event, only winning two silvers and two bronzes. Harasawa says he remembers well the scene on television when in the final, over 100-kilogram match, Japan's representative lost in the second round and then-head coach Shinichi Shinohara, watching from the stands, hung his neck in disappointment. Other than Masashi Ebinuma, who won bronze in the 66-kilogram class for the second Olympics in a row this time, the other six competitors were all Olympic first timers, but they carried with them the desire to avenge what had happened four years ago.

    Inoue, who was a coach for Japan's judoka for the London Olympics, was made into head coach in November 2012. Believing that only judo competitors who could adapt could survive in this sport, he moved forward with training reforms. After retiring as a competitor himself, Inoue went to study coaching in the United Kingdom. While there, he felt that together with its spread around the world, the level of world judo had clearly risen. To overcome the difference in physical strength that had undone Japan at the London Games, he introduced a body-building specialist among the judo coaches to build the athletes' muscles.

    He also encouraged thorough competition among the Japanese athletes, believing that without this they would not win. He sent Ryunosuke Haga, who won bronze at Rio and earned Japan its first medal in the 100-kilogram class in 16 years, to Mongolia to train as part of his efforts to show his athletes the difference between their good training environment and that of foreign judoka, and the hunger of those foreign competitors.

    The 12 medals obtained by the Japanese judo competitors in this Olympics were more than in any previous Games, surpassing the 10 of the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and the 2004 Athens Olympics. (By Tomoshige Fujino, Mainichi Shimbun)
  14. Ceewan

    Ceewan Famished

    Japan 5th in medley relay, finishes with 7 medals in pool

    RIO DE JANEIRO (Kyodo) -- Japan finished the Rio Olympic swimming competition on a downer, placing fifth in the men's 4x100-meter medley relay in its only final Saturday.

    After a meet that started with Kosuke Hagino winning the men's 400 individual medley, Japan will head home with a combined seven medals in the pool -- two golds, two silvers and three bronze.

    The Japanese medley team of Ryosuke Irie, Yasuhiro Koseki, Takuro Fujii and Katsumi Nakamura came home in 3 minutes, 31.97 seconds, seeing the nation's run of medaling in the event end at three Olympic Games.

    Japan was more than four seconds behind the United States led by Michael Phelps, who ended his decorated career with his 23rd Olympic gold medal. The U.S. team won in an Olympic record of 3:27.95.

    Japan's medal tally falls short of the 11 it won in London four years ago -- no golds, however -- but head coach Norimasa Hirai was pleased with the number of medals won here.

    "We may have fewer medals overall, but having been able to win two golds is tremendous progress to me," Hirai said. "I don't know how many silvers a gold amounts to, but I like to think we achieved more here than we did in London in that sense."

    "The goal for the team was to win more than one gold medal and for all of us to qualify for the finals. We managed more than one gold, but not everybody made it to his or her respective final, which is probably more difficult to achieve than winning multiple gold medals."

    "Looking ahead to 2020, we have some talented young women like (Rikako) Ikee, but girls her age on other teams won the 100 butterfly, the 100 free," he said, referring to the 16-year-old swimmer who entered in a Japan-record seven events.

    "So we can't be blindly optimistic. We have to approach the next Olympics with the mindset that it will not be easy to win medals in Tokyo."

    By the next Games, Hirai said he hopes to improve the team in the backstroke and the long distance races, but is particularly concerned with a part of the squad selection process.

    As it stands, those who win at the world championships automatically qualify for the Olympics.

    But while Daiya Seto and Natsumi Hoshi took bronze in the men's 400 IM and the women's 200 fly, respectively, Seto was a distant fifth in the 200 IM and Kanako Watanabe did not qualify for the final in the women's 100 and 200 breaststroke.

    "Based on a formula I developed, I felt that a gold at the worlds amounts to about a bronze at the Olympics," Hirai said. "Kanako Watanabe could not even qualify for the finals in her events."

    "Given that, I think we are going to have to discuss whether it was the right decision to just hand a ticket to the world champions. But I'm not going to say whether it was right or wrong, right here right now."

    "At the same time, if you ask me if they had the motivation that they should have had to work hard after qualifying for Rio, I would have to say no."

    Saturday's race marked the end of 31-year-old Fujii's career. Fujii helped Japan reach second on the podium in the 4x100 medley relay at London, as did veteran Irie, who still has not made up his mind about his career.

    "I gave this race everything I had. I don't feel like I can sit here and say, 'I'll try to do better next year,'" Irie said. "I'm not sure if I'll even be needed by the team anymore as faster, better swimmers will come up."

    "I'll think about continuing my career, and I'll think about quitting. I've got my entire life to think about; my life goes beyond my career and swimming."
  15. Ceewan

    Ceewan Famished

    Olympics: Japan's Ota wins silver in Greco-Roman 59 kg at Rio Games
    From left, silver medalist Japan's Shinobu Ota, gold medalist Cuba's Ismael Borrero Molina and bronze medalists Uzbekistan's Elmurat Tasmuradov and Norway's Stig-Andre Berge pose during the winners ceremony for the men's wrestling Greco-Roman 59-kg competition at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Aug. 14, 2016.

    RIO DE JANEIRO (Kyodo) -- Japan's Shinobu Ota managed a silver medal but was no match against reigning world champion Ismael Borrero Molina of Cuba in the men's Greco-Roman 59-kilogram final at the Rio Olympics on Sunday.

    The 22-year-old Ota, who came second at the 2014 Asian championships in Astana and was making his debut in the Olympics, lost by technical fall to the 24-year-old Borrero Molina.

    Ota was trying to become the first Japanese athlete to win gold in Greco-Roman since Atsuji Miyahara achieved the feat back at the 1984 Los Angles Games. Despite his loss in the final, Ota was able to secure a medal in men's wrestling for Japan in the 16th consecutive Olympics.

    "I had only been aiming for gold. When I get back to Japan I will train hard all over again," said Ota. "I wasn't nervous. I feel relieved that I could continue the tradition (for Japan getting an Olympic medal) but also realize I have so much to work on since I could only manage the silver."

    "I am determined that in four years (for the 2020 Tokyo Games), I am going to be the one who wins gold. I kept looking over at Borrero Molina's gold when we were on the medals podium and thinking how cool it looks," he said.

    Borrero Molina, who was supported by a boisterous crowd with chants of Cuba at Carioca Arena in Rio's Barra da Tijuca, scored six points when he heaved Ota up from the clinch position for a power-drive onto his back, making it 6-0 in the first period.

    He tackled the Japanese wrestler again in the second period en route to an 8-0 rout.

    "I'm really glad to be an Olympic champion. There's a lot of emotion. It's so hard to explain," Borrero Molina said. "It went really fast but I was able to be a stronger athlete and come out on top."

    Ota said his father Yoichi, who could not be in Rio de Janeiro due to work-related reasons, had predicted his result about a month ago.

    "He said, 'You're going to get silver. I saw it in a dream.' And I was like, 'What the heck do you mean silver!' I was kind of upset and told him I'll definitely get the gold, but his dream was right this time," he said laughing.

    In the semifinals, Ota prevailed over London Olympics 55-kg silver medalist Rovshan Bayramov of Azerbaijan, executing a technical fall to book a meeting with Borrero Molina.

    Ota came from behind in his first match against London Olympic 55-kg gold medalist Hamid Mohammad Soryan, beating the Iranian in a 5-4 decision.

    He then romped 6-0 over 2015 world bronze medalist Almat Kebispayev of Kazakhstan to reach the quarterfinals and thrashed eventual bronze-medal winner Stig-Andre Berge of Norway, a 2014 world bronze medalist, 4-0 to make the semis.

    "He came this far so I really wanted him to win the gold medal," said Japan's Greco-Roman coach Shigeki Nishiguchi.

    "Ota has much room to grow. He did his best for the entire team to keep the light of Greco-Roman from being extinguished. Now he can start preparing for the Tokyo Games."
  16. Ceewan

    Ceewan Famished

    Nishikori beats Nadal for Japan's 1st tennis medal in 96 yrs


    RIO DE JANEIRO (Kyodo) -- Kei Nishikori defeated Rafael Nadal 6-2, 6-7(1), 6-3 to win bronze at the Rio Olympics on Sunday for Japan's first tennis medal in almost a century.

    World No. 7 Nishikori, as he's been known to do, did it the hard way in becoming the first Japanese tennis medalist since Ichiya Kumagai (silver) at the 1920 Games in Antwerp. The victory was only Nishikori's second against Beijing 2008 champion Nadal in 11 career meetings.

    Nishikori cruised through the first set and was well on his way to making quick work of Nadal. But from 5-2 down, Nadal showed the heart of a champion, winning five of the next six games to trigger a third set.

    Yet Nishikori, who lost in the quarterfinals four years ago in London, did well to regroup from the forgettable second set to win an exhausting 2 hour, 49 minute affair.

    "I'm exhausted but I pushed myself today," Nishikori said. "I lost the second set in a bad way, but I managed to come back in the final set. Rafa had beaten me a couple of times this season and I managed to shake that off."

    "I'm very happy to get a medal today. Even though it's third place, it means a lot to me to beat Rafa. I knew if I played good, solid tennis I had a chance to get a medal."

    "I was playing for my country and this is something different from the tour. For sure, this experience will help with my confidence and future."

    Nadal tipped his hat to Nishikori.

    "He played great during the whole match. During the whole match I was a little bit too tired," the Spaniard said. "If you don't play 100 percent tennis against a player like Kei, it's almost impossible. I want to congratulate Kei. I tried my best, I fought to the end."

    A day after being taken to school by Briton Andy Murray, Nishikori was far more competitive against a tired Nadal, who, counting the men's doubles he won with Marc Lopez, was playing in his 11th match at Rio.

    Fifth-ranked Nadal lost to Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro in a three-set semifinal on Saturday.

    Nishikori pounced on the second break-point opportunity he saw of the match to go up 3-2 in the first set. In Nadal's next service game, he shot himself in the foot with a double fault that set up another break point, which Nishikori promptly capitalized on.

    Nishikori aced his first set point to win 6-2.

    The resilient legs Nadal has used to build a distinguished career were nowhere to be found early in the second set, Nishikori winning his third break point in the third game.

    At 4-2 with Nadal serving, Nishikori converted a fourth break point to win the game. In the following game, Nadal finally broke his opponent on the fourth chance and converted another to even the score 5-5, thanks to a Nishikori double fault.

    With Nadal appearing to have found his second wind, the 14-time Grand Slam champion held serve after deuce to move in front. Nishikori won the next game, but the Japanese continued to self-destruct, managing just one point in the tiebreak as Nadal captured the set.

    Nishikori admitted he felt pressed being on the brink of winning the match.

    "I was uptight. He was starting to play better and that was half the reason. But I started to think about the medal, and was rushing my serves and shots," he said.

    Nadal got the crowd behind him with the comeback, and Nishikori drew the jeers after a lengthy bathroom break that seemed to irritate Nadal ahead of the final set.

    Nishikori won his fifth break point to lead 3-1, a critical game that Nadal could not find a way back from. Nishikori, determined not to suffer another meltdown, held on for Japan's 15th bronze medal of these Games.

    "I'm just glad I won today," he said. "I broke him first (in the last set) and that gave me a bit of breathing room. I went back to playing the aggressive tennis I played in the first set."

    "He was coming at me from the very first game. I had to work hard to keep my serve and I couldn't let him keep doing what he was doing. He made a few mistakes, I defended well and managed to break him. Remembering what he did to me in the previous set from 5-2, I tried to stay as focused as possible."

    "I feel like I've improved (from 2012), not only the result, but the performance, too. I'm playing with a lot more confidence compared to four years ago, when I was pretty happy just to have reached the quarterfinals. I don't know where I'll be in four years, but I hope to be better and stronger."

  17. Ceewan

    Ceewan Famished

    Japan secures first-ever men’s team table tennis medal with victory in semis


    RIO DE JANEIRO – Japan guaranteed itself a first-ever Olympic men’s table tennis team medal on Monday after beating Germany 3-1 to set up a final showdown with defending champion China.

    Maharu Yoshimura lost the opening singles match 3-0 before team ace Jun Mizutani — who won bronze in the singles competition four days previously — beat Timo Boll 3-0 to tie the match and set up a pivotal doubles clash between Yoshimura and Koki Niwa and Germany’s Boll and Bastian Steger.

    The Japanese pair triumphed 3-1 after a fierce dogfight to give Mizutani the chance to close out the match in his singles matchup with Steger, and the world No. 6 did so with ease, thrashing his opponent 3-0 at Riocentral Pavilion 3.

    “I knew I had a big lead so I thought I would be fine, but the last point is the one that’s always played on TV so I really wanted to finish in style,” said Mizutani, who became Japan’s first-ever male table tennis medalist when he beat Vladimir Samsonov of Belarus 4-1 to win the singles bronze on Thursday.

    “If I hadn’t won my first match then the team would definitely have lost. I always want to win twice for my country, and I also have the pride of being the team’s ace. I don’t want to lose in front of an audience, whoever it is I’m playing.”

    Japan will play China in Tuesday’s final, after the table tennis superpower beat South Korea 3-0 in the second semifinal later on Monday.

    World No. 21 Yoshimura lost the opening rubber against Germany’s Dimitrij Ovtcharov — the world No. 5 and the highest-ranked player outside of China — to make Mizutani’s matchup with world No. 13 Boll a must-win situation.

    Mizutani proved equal to the task, beating Boll 11-9, 11-5, 12-10 despite a poor career record against the 35-year-old former world No. 1.

    “I had to play Boll today, and I’ve lost to him about 14 or 15 times in my life,” said Mizutani. “I could feel that my teammates were worried, but I was confident I could win.

    “I knew that if I could beat Boll then it would give the other two a lift, and that if we could win the doubles we would definitely win the whole thing. I’m glad we could do it.”

    Yoshimura and Niwa took the first game against Boll and Steger 11-5 before dropping the second 13-15, but the Japanese pair dug in to claim the next two games 11-4 and 11-5 to set the table for Mizutani.

    “It wasn’t about the tactics,” said Niwa, the world No. 22. “We’re a team and we were determined to work for each other and win the match.

    “At 1-1 the doubles is so important in deciding whether or not you win a medal. I would have had to play last if we hadn’t won and I don’t think I would have won that one, so we had to really go for it.”

    Mizutani duly thrashed Steger 11-5, 11-4, 11-4 to book Japan’s place in the final against China, leaving the Germans to contest the bronze-medal match against South Korea.

    “I knew it would be a very tough match against Mizutani,” said world No. 24 Steger. “He played a really good tournament and he didn’t make any mistakes. It was really a perfect match for him. I tried everything but there was no chance.”

    Japan faces a Herculean task to beat table tennis behemoth China, which has won gold both times since the team event was added to the Olympic program in 2008, and has captured the world championship 20 times.

    “Ever since table tennis became an Olympic sport 28 years ago in Seoul, Japanese men had never won a medal,” said Japan men’s coach Yosuke Kurashima. “The players have really put in the effort and now Mizutani has won an individual medal and the team is guaranteed a medal too.

    “I’m only half happy because the final is still to come tomorrow. China will definitely put us under pressure so we need to be at our best. It will be like threading the eye of a needle, so I want to see us play the best we can.”
  18. Ceewan

    Ceewan Famished

    Tosaka wins 48-kg gold in women's freestyle wrestling

    RIO DE JANEIRO (Kyodo) -- Japan's Eri Tosaka won the women's 48-kilogram freestyle wrestling gold medal on her Olympic debut with a last-gasp victory over Mariya Stadnik of Azerbaijan at the Rio Games on Wednesday.

    The 22-year-old Tosaka, the three-time defending world champion in the same weight class, came from behind to defeat London Olympic silver medalist Stadnik with a takedown in the last seconds of the final at Carioca Arena in Rio de Janeiro's Barra da Tijuca.

    "I thought that was my only chance and gave it my all, thinking I would regret it I couldn't do it then," Tosaka said.

    She had a bye into her second-round match where she beat Kazakhstan's Zhuldyz Eshimova, the 2008 world silver medalist, 6-0.

    In her next match, Tosaka came back against Haley Ruth Augello, deploying some deft leg tackling maneuvers to complete a rout of the American in the quarterfinals.

    Tosaka also rallied to down China's Sun Yanan, the 2013 world champion at 51 kg, in the semifinals.

    Earlier, Kaori Icho, competing at 58 kg and seeking an unprecedented fourth consecutive Olympic gold in women's wrestling, led the charge as all three of Japan's women, including Sara Dosho at 69 kg, booked spots in the finals.
  19. Ceewan

    Ceewan Famished

    Icho wins 58-kg gold, 1st woman wrestler to 4-peat at Games

    RIO DE JANEIRO (Kyodo) -- Japan's Kaori Icho became the first female wrestler to win four consecutive Olympic gold medals Wednesday as she defeated Russia's Valeriia Koblova Zholobova in the women's 58-kilogram freestyle final at the Rio Olympics.

    Icho, 32, struggled against the 23-year-old 2014 world silver medalist, but the 10-time world champion came from behind to score points in the dying moments of the bout to clinch victory.

    "I didn't wrestle very well. I'm glad I was able to make many people happy like this but I wanted to fight better," Icho said. "My opponent came in for a tackle (in the end) so I thought that was my last chance to score. I'm happy it worked."

    Earlier in the day, Icho saw off Marwa Amri of Tunisia in her first match, booked her ticket to the semifinals when she came from behind to beat Elif Jale Yesilirmak of Turkey and cruised past Yuliya Ratkevich of Azerbaijan for a place in the final.

    In the women's 48-kg category, three-time defending world champion Eri Tosaka set the pace for Japan by winning the gold medal on her Olympic debut with a last-gasp victory over Mariya Stadnik of Azerbaijan.

    The 22-year-old Tosaka came from behind to defeat London Olympic silver medalist Stadnik with a takedown in the last seconds of the final at Carioca Arena in Rio de Janeiro's Barra da Tijuca.

    "I thought that was my only chance and gave it my all, thinking I would regret it I couldn't do it then," Tosaka said.

    On being the first Japanese wrestler to fight in the day's finals, she said, "I didn't feel any pressure in that sense, but there have been cases in the past when I was the only one who couldn't medal, so I thought I would be able to encourage the others by winning."

    "I think this is the best thing I've done for my parents in my life so far," Tosaka said.

    She had a bye into her second-round match where she beat Kazakhstan's Zhuldyz Eshimova, came back against Haley Ruth Augello of the United States in the quarterfinals and rallied to down China's Sun Yanan, the 2013 world champion at 51 kg, in the semifinals.

    Sara Dosho, a 21-year-old Olympic debutant, booked a spot in the women's 69-kg final.
  20. Ceewan

    Ceewan Famished

    Matsutomo, Takahashi claim Japan's first badminton gold

    RIO DE JANEIRO (Kyodo) -- Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi won Japan's first badminton gold with a 2-1 win over Christinna Pedersen and Kamilla Rytter Juhl of Denmark in the Rio Games' women's doubles final on Thursday.

    The Danish pair won the first game 21-18 before Japan, which won silver four years ago in London through Mizuki Fujii and Reika Kakiiwa, pulled one back 21-9 to set up a third game.

    Japan trailed 19-16 but won the next four points to set up match point. Pedersen hit into the net to hand Matsutomo and Takahashi the victory.

    "In the first game I didn't play well at all, but in the final game I could show off all the work I've put in and never quit," said Matsutomo.

    "The fact that we could play our game in that situation pleases me more than getting the gold medal."

    Takahashi said, "When we managed to tie it at the end, in a close contest, I could play thinking we are stronger in such situations."

    In the women's singles, Nozomi Okuhara will head to the bronze-medal match after losing 2-0 to Sindhu Pusarla of India in the semifinals.

    Okuhara, the first Japanese semifinalist at the Olympics in women's singles since badminton became a medal sport in 1992, lost 21-19, 21-10 to Pusarla, who had beaten London 2012 silver medalist Wang Yihan in the quarterfinals.

    Okuhara will face China's Li Xuerui in Friday's match for bronze.