Olympic champion Joshiro Maruyama, invited to International Judo Tournament, welcomed at airport by athletes from Vrancea
Multiple Olympic judo champion Joshiro Maruyama, the special guest of the Aurel Campeanu Memorial International Judo Tournament that took place Saturday and Sunday in the Sports Hall in Focsani, Vrancea county, was welcomed from the airport by a group of young judoka who came specially from Vrancea.
“Ever since I set foot in Romania, at the airport, I had a particularly warm welcome from the young judokas. This would have never happened in Japan and for this very reason it was a very pleasant surprise. I was already excited to come to Romania, because I had previously met Romanians who made a very good impression on me, but this reception made me even more happy to be here,” Joshiro Maruyama told AGERPRES.
Also nicknamed “King of Uchi Mata,” Joshiro Maruyama is one of the most spectacular judokas in this sport, and his presence at the Focsani competition coincided with the organization of the first international training camp by the great champion, in the second day of the sports competition, when over 300 athletes wanted to learn the secrets of this sport.
“I’ve been practicing judo since I was three years old and through judo I’ve managed to meet a lot of people and I can say that every interaction has changed my life in a certain way. Judo is ideal for children because it’s a direct contact sport, one on one with the other athlete, and through this interaction one learns respect for the opponent. And through respect, the athletes understand each other’s feelings, help each other. (…) If I were to make a comparison with Japanese judo, I saw here more strength than technique. Athletes focus a lot on raw strength rather than process and technique. For us, technique is more important because, over time, strength can be lost, but technique always remains the same. I would like to see judo practiced by as many children as possible, because, after all, judo is first and foremost a way of life,” said Maruyama.
Other representative names of this sport in Romania were not absent from the tournament, such as the Olympic champion Alina Dumitru, originally from Vrancea, the world champion Asley Gonzales, registered at CSM Focsani 2007, the national champion Adrian Croitoru, currently coach of the national judo team of Morocco.
“This year we had over 350 athletes from seven countries present in Focsani. We had about 100 athletes from the Republic of Moldova, 30-40 athletes from Turkey and Ukraine, athletes from Bosnia-Herzegovina, the United States of America, Japan. a joy for us, the organizers, that Focsani was, even for a weekend, the capital of Romanian judo and not only that. We want these children to take part in competitions at the highest level,” said Marius Ulmeteanu, one of the organizers of the Focsani tournament.