Shohei Ono is a judo legend. A Japanese native, Oho won the World Judo Championship in. 2013, 15 and 19 and also notched two Olympic gold medals in 2016 and 2020. He’s set to coach the already-loaded Japanese team and lend his expertise to the next generation of judoka. Ono has applied for an overseas program by the Japanese Olympic Committee and hopes to study in Britain.
Shohei Ono: Judo King
Now that he’s retired, Shohei Ono has finished up one of the most storied careers in judo history. With all of his world championships, Ono first broke on the scene in the 2012 Grand Slam Tokyo tournament where he won the tournament by ippon. With that gold, Shohei Ono officially arrived. He’d go on to win four more Grand Slams by the IJF and two Grand Prix in 2015 and 2016.
After that Grand Slam win in 2012, Ono took home the World Championship in 2013, 2014, and 2015. It was then he set his eyes firmly on the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games. There, he competed at his usual 73 kilograms and took home the gold medal.
After the 2016 cycle, Shohei Ono didn’t win another World Championship until 2019. His comeback marked another hopeful Olympic run and in 2020, he took home the gold medal once again when he beat Georgia’s Lasha Shavdatuashvili for the medal. That moment solidified him among the upper echelon of judoka with two time Olympian status.
Shohei Ono was known for his signature uchi mata which scored him many ippon throughout his judo career. Now retired, Japan will be hard pressed to find a 73 kilogram judoka half as good as Ono, and that’s no disrespect to his successor. Ono was simply that good of a judoka and should be an inspiration for anyone who takes up the sport.
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In addition to covering judo for My MMA News, Blaine Henry, the author, also analyzes fights from all combat sports across the globe.
Your friendly neighborhood fight fan. I watch way too many fights and my wife lets me know it.