Born on 3 February 1992 in Yamaguchi Japan, Shohei Ono is undoubtedly the most dominant entity in Judo right now, the Japanese Judoka competes at -73 kg and is internationally undefeated since 2015. He is widely regarded as one of the best Judokas of our era, he won the Olympic gold in 2016 and is looking to defend his title this time as well.
Ono’s favorite techniques are Uchi Mata and Osto Gari, with Uchi Mata being the most effective one, he is an extremely talented athlete and is known for his classical ippon finishes. To continue his reign at the top at the Olympics Ono needs to work harder than anyone in the division because all of them have to train for this one man, but he needs to be prepared for everyone.
Shohei Ono appeared in an interview at International Judo Federation’s “Coffee with Celine” YouTube show, where he talked about his journey throughout the years, Ono truly believes that he has dedicated his entire life towards Judo and he is not planning on letting it go forever.
When asked about when he started, he stated, “I don’t remember the exact age though, I started judo when I was, maybe, 7 years old. I left my family when I was 12 years old, and have lived my life only for judo. This made me strong.”
Shohei Ono’s incredible career
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Shohei Ono burst onto the international circuit when he won the Tokyo Grand Slam in 2012, in 2013 he won the Rio De Janeiro World championship at -73 kg, and he did that three more times with the most recent win coming up in the Tokyo World championship in 2019. Ono then went on to achieve his lifelong dream of becoming the Olympic gold medallist in 2016, and he is not planning to give up this title in 2020 as well.
Ono has fought and beaten almost everyone in the division, Ono is one of the most top contenders to bring gold for the Japanese Judo team this time as well, and he believes doing this in his home country will bring more attention to the sport, he said, “I would like to try my best to change this pressure into positive energy.”
He continued, “After I win this Tokyo Olympics and get the second Olympic title, I would like if the number of judo fans in Japan will dramatically increase just like that of Europe. Each time I fight in the grand slam in Europe, I always feel the great passion from fans. I always hope this could happen in Japan as well.”