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Mirai Takaichi Overcomes Adversity: From the Brink of Retirement to Securing a Spot in the Paris Olympics

Mirai Takaichi (29 years old) has been selected to represent the Paris Olympics in the women’s 63kg judo class. She was the only woman to miss out on a medal at the Tokyo Olympics, and in 2022 she suffered a serious injury that threatened her career as an athlete, making her journey to her third Olympics a difficult one. Takaichi said that at one point she even thought about “retiring” from her job, but it was the presence of her husband, Kengo, that inspired her once again.

December 2023, Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium, Judo Grand Slam Tokyo Tournament.

At this tournament, which also served as a selection for Japan’s representative for the Paris Olympics, Mirai Takaichi, a 63kg women’s athlete, defeated her rival Megumi Horikawa, who is vying for a spot on the Olympic team and the 2022 world champion, in the quarterfinals. She won five matches and came out on top, securing her ticket to her third consecutive Olympics.

“I can go to the Olympics again…”

On the podium, she shed tears.

It’s been over two years since the disappointing Tokyo Olympics, where they were defeated in the second round. He briefly considered retiring, but after thinking about it, he decided to continue his active career. However, in February 2022, just as he was about to make a comeback, he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee and was forced to stay out for a long period of time, putting his career in danger. He also finished the 2016 Rio Olympics with an incomplete finish, finishing fifth.

He experienced setbacks at each Olympics, and grew stronger by overcoming them.

Conflict has also been used as food for evolution.

The person who has supported her the most is her husband, Kengo.

Her husband, Kengo, will retire from active duty in 2022.

He is a former top Japanese athlete who also participated in the 2014 World Championships, aiming to compete in the Olympics in the men’s 66kg class. Due to injuries and other factors, he was unable to achieve the results he had hoped for, and will retire in May 2022 without being able to participate in the Olympics.

Takaichi says that because she saw her husband like that, she realized that being in an environment where she can continue practicing judo, which she loves, is not something to take for granted. Although her husband is not a man of many words, he has always supported and encouraged her when she was struggling.

[Next page]“I’m less spoiled now.”

2024-02-14 03:02:49
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