Japanese Athletes Go for Gold at the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics

Still fresh with excitement  from the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympics, Japanese athletes are coming into focus with the anticipation of what’s to come when Japan hosts the 2020 Olympic games.

Japan proudly competed at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil from the 5th to the 25th of August and earned a bevy of awards to show for it.  The Japanese Olympic Committee was created in 1911. Japanese athletes have been competing regularly since the nation first participated in 1912.

Japanese tennis player Ichiya KumagaeJapanese tennis player Ichiya Kumagae.

Japan has had a number of great athletes over the years with Ichiya “Ichy” Kumagai (熊谷 一弥 Kumagai Ichiya, 1890 – 1968), born in in Ōmuta, Fukuoka Prefecture, as the first Japanese Olympic medalist who won in tennis in the 1920 Antwerp Olympics. Kumagai actually won two silver medals, one in the men’s singles event where he lost to the South African Louis Raymond and the other in the men’s doubles event with his tennis partner Seiichiro Kashio, losing to Oswald Turnbull and Maxwell Woosnam from Great Britain.

Kosuke Hagino. |

fidlerIn the recent 2016 Rio Summer Olympics, Japan had their proud share of gold, silver, and bronze Olympic medals totaling 41 medals (12 gold, 8 silver, 21 bronze).  The sports the Japanese athletes excelled at and the official Olympic medal tally were wresting (4 gold, 3 silver), judo (3 gold , 1 silver , 8 bronze), swimming ( 2 gold, 2 silver, 3 bronze), gymnastics (2  gold, 1 silver), badminton (1 gold, 1 bronze), table tennis (1 silver, 2 bronze), athletics (three distinct sets of events: track and field, road running, racewalking;  1 silver, 1 bronze), synchronized swimming (2 bronze), canoeing (1 bronze), tennis (1 bronze) and weight lifting (1 bronze).

Sohei Ono. | C. Fidler

Some notable Japanese athletes in the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics include:

kohei_uchimura_2011Kosuke Hagino (萩野公介, born 15 August 1994) – he specializes in the individual medley and 200 m freestyle in swimming. He is a four-time Olympic medalist, and most recently won the gold in the 400 m individual medley.

Shohei Ono (大野将平, born 3 February 1992) – he won a gold medal for judo for Men’s 73 kg division.

Kōhei Uchimura (内村 航平 , born January 3, 1989) – he won a gold medal for gymnastics for Men’s artistic individual all-around category.

Kōhei Uchimura. | Rick McCharles

Risako Kawai (川井 梨紗子, born 21 November 1994) – won a gold medal in wrestling by defeating Maria Mamashuk of Belarus 3-0 in the Women’s freestyle 63 kg category.