The 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics is a tournament remembered as a shock to Korean men’s judo. This is because he suffered no medals in 16 years after the 2000 Sydney Olympics. In particular, the dropout of 73kg grade Ahn Chang-rim (27, Phillux, 13th in the world ranking) was decisive.
He was ranked No. 1 in the world rankings at the time and was nominated for the national team’s gold medal ‘0th place’, but in the round of 16, he was caught by Belgian veteran Dirk van Titzle. Born in Kyoto, Japan, after ascending to the strongest in university judo, he rejected the Japanese national team’s naturalization offer and put on the Taigeuk mark, but the gold medal he had dreamed of was vain. However, at the age of 22, Ahn Chang-rim was too young to be frustrated. There was enough time left for the re-challenge, and the next Olympics was the stage in Japan, which he was familiar with.
Ahn Chang-lim started the Olympic gold medal in earnest. He advanced to the final at the men’s 73kg class on the second day of the 2021 Doha Masters Competition held at the Rusail Sports Arena in Doha, Qatar on the 13th, and ended up winning the gold medal. The final opponent on this day was Japan’s Soichi Hashimoto (30th and 2nd place). Ahn Chang-rim defeated Hashimoto, the strongest player in Japan at the time, at the Japan University Judo Championships in 2013, and achieved national conquest.
In the match against Sookmyung’s rival again, he started off with an uneasy start, receiving a map in 40 seconds from the start of the match. However, he did not give points during the regular time and drove the game to an extension, and with his unique strong stamina, he drove Hashimoto into a strength fight in the extension as well. The fierce game ended somewhat in vain. Hashimoto attempted a dangerous technique of pulling Ahn Chang-rim’s right arm in 3 minutes and 40 seconds of overtime, and the referee immediately declared a foul loss to Hashimoto, who used a dangerous technique that could cause injury, and the victory was confirmed.
With this victory, Ahn Chang-lim earned 1800 ranking points. The judo international competition, which had been suspended for a long time due to Corona 19, resumed in October last year, but Korea has delayed participation due to practical difficulties such as self-isolation, and returned to the international stage after 11 months through this competition. The world ranking of the national team’s key players has also fallen to around 10th place due to a long gap. In order to participate in the Tokyo Olympics, it was necessary to maintain the ranking of the 18th in the world ranking by weight category until June 21st, so this tournament, which has the second highest ranking point after the World Championships, was very desperate. Ahn Chang-lim also fell to 13th in the world ranking, but with this victory, the ranking quickly rose to the top of the weight class. As the acquisition of tickets for the Olympic Games has become visible, all you need to do is focus on winning the stage.
It is also income that defeated Hashimoto, a gold medal competitor. Hashimoto has been selected as a strong gold medal candidate by winning the Rio Olympic gold medalist Shohei Ono (29th, 4th place) in the Japanese men’s 73kg class and maintaining the world’s No. 1 position until recently.
However, do not be vigilant. This is because the alert for another competitor, Ohno, who was absent from this competition, could not be delayed. In particular, Ahn Chang-rim was weak enough to record 6 games against Ohno, so he has to grow himself further toward the gold medal.
Ahn Chang-rim also has a strong will to win the Olympic gold medal. In a recent interview, he said, “Tokyo Budokan, where the Olympics are held, is the place where we won our first national championship in Japan,” and “I want to hear the national anthem by winning the gold medal.” Whether his dream will become reality, the eyes of Judo fans turn to Ahn Chang-rim again.
Reporter Pilwoong Seo email@example.com
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