Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Ono (JPN) vs Akimoto (JPN): 2014 Tokyo Grand Slam

Part 1: Sainjargal (MGL) at the 2011 Qingdao Grand Prix
Part 2: Sharipov (UZB) at the 2012 Paris Grand Slam
Part 3: Wang (KOR) at the 2012 Tashkent Asian Championships
Part 4: Khashbaatar (MGL) at the 2013 Paris Grand Slam
Part 5: Lee (KOR) at the 2014 Chelyabinsk World Championships

Part 6: Iartcev (RUS) at the 2014 Chelyabinsk World Championships
Part 7: Akimoto (JPN) at the 2014 Tokyo Grand Slam

Ono had a pretty bad year in 2014. Not only did he lose out in the 2014 World Championships individual event but he lost in the team event too. Then at the end of the year, in the Tokyo Grand Slam, he lost out to compatriot Hiroyuki Akimoto.

Akimoto is no mug, mind you. He's a former World Champion himself. But it's also true that at that point in his career, Akimoto was already past his prime while Ono could be said to be still peaking. Here, experience won out and Akimoto prevailed.

It must be said Akimoto did all the attacking, attempting seoi-nage after seoi-nage until finally one succeeded. It was given only a yuko but that was enough to win him the match. Ono was devastated but of course he would more than redeem himself in 2015 and 2016.

Today he is a double World Champion and Olympic Champion. Sadly, he won't be at the 2017 Budapest World Championships. Hopefully we'll see him at next year's World Championships... perhaps in a different weight class?

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