Last month the Japan Judo Federation officially adopted the use of video replay to assist judges and avoid controversial calls. It didn't take long for the system to be put to the test.
Three-time Olympic champion Tadahiro Nomura came out on top Saturday in the men's 60-kilogram class at the All-Japan Weight Class Championships in Fukuoka when a check of the video gave him the winning point in the final against Masaaki Fukuoka.
Nomura, the gold medalist at the Atlanta, Sydney and Athens Olympics, was battling Fukuoka in overtime when he attempted a leg trip and Fukuoka countered. The two fell simultanously to the mat.
The move produced three different judgements: the head judge ruled it a waza-ari for Fukuoka, one side judge called it a koka for Nomura, while the second side judge said neither scored a point.
The three then checked the video replay and awarded Nomura a koka, giving him his first title in three years and almost a sure place on Japan's team to the world championships in September in Rio de Janeiro.
"If I didn't win, I wouldn't make it to the world championships, so no matter how much I stunk, I wanted to win," said Nomura, who failed to score an ippon victory in his three matches leading up to the final.
Two Athens Olympic champions, Masato Uchishiba in the men's 66-kg class and Masae Ueno in the women's 70-kg division, suffered first-round upsets.
Calls to employ video arose following a major controversy at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Japan's Shinichi Shinohara was declared the loser in the over-100-kilogram final against France's David Douillet, despite all indications that he was in control when the two went spilling to the mat.
The federation had tested video replay in competition before officially adopting the technology in March.
Today's action features the return of two-time Olympic champion Ryoko Tani, who will compete for the first time since giving birth to a baby boy on New Year's Eve in 2005.
Tani, the wife of Yomiuri Giants outfielder Yoshitomo Tani, has won the 48-kilogram title 14 times.
Copyright 2007 The Daily Yomiuri
Source Citation:"Historic use of video aids Nomura win at judo c'ships." Yomiuri Shimbun/Daily Yomiuri (April 8, 2007): NA. General OneFile. Gale. Alachua County Library District. 5 Oct. 2009
United States Judo Association - USJA
(Album / Profile) hhref="http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=10023&id=1661531726&l=792eaa11b1">http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=10023&id=1661531726&l=792eaa11b1