Abe Hifumi and Abe Uta Strike Gold Together at the Paris Olympics! | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Abe Hifumi and Abe Uta Strike Gold Together at the Paris Olympics!

The two undefeated world champions from the Tokyo Olympics appeared in suits at their alma mater's pep rally!

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on LINE
The two usually wear street clothes and throw their opponents around. Perhaps it is because they are used to seeing each other like that, but it was refreshing to see both siblings in suits!

The date of the final match is July 28, and the stage is the Champ de Mars Arena, which stands close to the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Abe Hifumi (26) and Uta (23, both from Park24) will be aiming for the same day V at this summer’s Paris Olympics, following the Tokyo Olympics. On April 14, after returning home to Kobe, Kazumi, a representative in the men’s 66 kg judo weight class, vowed “an overwhelming V2” in front of 200 people at a pep rally held at his alma mater, Shinko Gakuen High School.

The Tokyo Games were a stage for me to fulfill my dream. I want to focus more on the result and the content in Paris. I want to show the world my attacking judo, and win the championship with an all-Ippon victory.

At international competitions, the women’s 52-kilogram final has always been held before the men’s 66-kilogram final, but in Paris it will be the other way around. To the extent that she will be on the tatami after her brother’s result, she may have to prepare for all kinds of situations. Still, Poet says.

In Tokyo, I didn’t know what the stage of the Olympics would be like. I guess I have a little more mental capacity this time because I have experienced it once before.

If they do not win their second gold medals at the same time, their dream will have been dashed.

My brother has always been ahead of me since I started judo,” she said. I just have to follow the same path. He has always been a reassuring presence.

I first interviewed Kazumi in 2002, when he won the Kodokan Cup in his second year of high school. On the tatami mats, the 17-year-old looked like he was about to take down his elders with his dynamic carrying techniques, such as back-support throws and sleeve-support kotsukomi goshi. The new star who has suddenly appeared in the world of judo revealed that he admires Tadahiro Nomura, 49, who has won three consecutive Olympic championships, and made the following comment: “I don’t think I’ve gone beyond winning three consecutive championships.

Just winning three consecutive Olympic titles does not mean that I have surpassed him. I aim to win four Olympics in a row.

However, he was not selected in time for the Rio ’16 Olympics, and due to the COVID-19 crisis, his first Olympics did not come until seven years later. Even so, the blueprint he had initially envisioned remains the same.

I am still aiming for a fourth consecutive championship, and if I don’t win two in a row, I won’t be able to fulfill that dream. Paris is just a passing point.

While Nomura and Ryoko Tani (48) have won consecutive Olympic titles, former men’s national team coach Yasuo Inoue (45) and current coach Keiji Suzuki (43) failed to win consecutive gold medals despite being assured of gold. Ibid.

At the Tokyo Games, Shohei (Ohno) won two consecutive championships with a great performance, but compared to Rio, I think he suffered, and I think it was difficult for him to follow his ideal judogi. I am prepared to accept everything.”

Like his older brother, Shukugawa made his debut in his sophomore year at Shukugawa Gakuin High School (’17). She won the Kodokan Cup and Grand Slam Tokyo with her offensive judo, which she traced back to Ippizo, and declared with an adorable smile: “From now on, the ‘era of Poi Abe’ will be my era.

From now on, I would like to continue the “Age of Abe Uta. My judo is ‘judo to get Ippon. I want to throw with a variety of techniques, but I think what will surprise and excite everyone is to throw by carrying, so that is what I am focusing on.

Unlike Kazumi, who had her biggest rival in Japan, Josiro Maruyama (30), Shiho has established a strong position as the absolute queen of the women’s 52-kilogram weight class. As for what she will do after the Paris Olympics – like her brother, she did not make a clear statement.

I have to win it for my future life,” she said. I don’t want to think of it as a series of championships, but rather as a single event.

Undefeated since the Tokyo Olympics, the siblings have been the face of judo not only in Japan but around the world for the past 10 years. This will continue even after the Paris Olympics.

Poetry is also a very talented person, having appeared in commercials for Airwave, Ajinomoto, and adidas Japan.
Receiving a bouquet of flowers from her juniors, she made a joyful peace. But this pose is said to represent her “second consecutive Olympic championship.

From the May 3, 2024 issue of “FRIDAY

  • Photography and text by Yuji Yanagawa (nonfiction writer)

Photo Gallery3 total

Photo Selection

Check out the best photos for you.

Related Articles