Thursday, March 30, 2017

Can a coach be a player too?

I recall IJF techie Lance Wicks pointing out to me at one particular World Championship how the Mongolian Olympic Champion Tuvshinbayar Naidan (who had been coaching the Mongolian team in that championship) had decided to take part in the team competition. Most of us found that interesting and amusing at the same time because it's not a common thing.

Well, it looks like triple World Champion Masashi Ebinuma is going to do the same thing. Judofan reports that starting April 1 (hopefully this is not an April Fool's joke), he will take coaching responsibilities for the men's team at Park 24, the club managed by Olympic Champion Hidehiko Yoshida.

Having coaching responsibilities while training for competition yourself is not an easy thing. And especially with young upstart Hifumi Abe nipping at his heels, I think Ebinuma might find that his international competition days might soon be over.

In any event, it looks like he's not taking part in the 2017 All-Japan Weight Class competition anyway, so it probably means he won't be going to the 2017 Budapest World Championships.

Still, what a great career he's had. Three world titles. And the win he had at the 2013 Rio World Championships was simply heroic (he fought on and won despite several illegal waki-gatame attempts on him which the referees and video judges woefully failed to spot).

No comments:

Post a Comment