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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

A look back at the 1972 Olympic Games: Toyokazu Nomura initiates a legacy for his family.


Japan had many options to choose from in the lightweight categories, including the -70kg division. In the 1969 World Championships, Japanese athletes Hiroshi Minatoya and Yoshimitsu Kono won the gold and silver medals, respectively. Similarly, at the 1971 World Championships, Hideki Tsuzawa and Minatoya, both from Japan, won the gold and silver medals, respectively.Nomura relied heavily on seoi-nage as his go-to move, but his mastery of this technique proved to be sufficient in defeating all of his opponents. He effortlessly defeated his first two opponents from Taiwan and Hungary. Although he faced a tougher challenge against Antoni Zajkowski of Poland, a World bronze medalist, Nomura was able to execute his signature move twice to secure victory and advance to the next round.Oon Yeoh, JudoCrazy’s partner at JudoInside, is producing captivating content on the history of Olympic judo through a series of articles. You can show your support for his work by subscribing to his Patreon or Substack.Nomura, like his well-known relative, was skilled in the seoi-nage technique. He executed morote-seoi-nage to the right and ippon-seoi-nage to the left, which were both highly effective. It is rumored that Nomura practiced his seoi-nage by performing 1000 uchikomis every evening using a bicycle tube since no partner could withstand that many repetitions with him.The -63kg division saw the Japanese emerge as the top performers, securing the gold and silver medals in the 1969 and 1971 World Championships. Toyokazu Nomura, who is the uncle of Tadahiro Nomura, a triple Olympic Champion, won the silver medal on both occasions.With confidence, Nomura stepped onto the mat and grabbed his opponent from Poland. He swiftly moved a few steps and executed a rapid drop ippon-seoi-nage, resulting in an ippon. The match ended in just 27 seconds, leaving the Japanese TV commentator surprised and exclaiming, “It happened so soon.” This victory secured Japan’s second judo gold medal of the Games.Support JudoCrazyNomura became weary of cutting weight by 1972 and opted to compete in a higher weight class of -70kg. This choice proved to be advantageous as he emerged victorious in the 1972 All-Japan Weight Class Championships, earning him a spot on the Munich Olympic team.Nomura competed against Anatoly Novikov from the Soviet Union in the semifinals. Novikov had won the silver medal at the 1972 European Championships. Nomura used seoi-nage to throw Novikov twice, earning waza-ari-awasete-ippon. The competition used a repechage system, which allowed Zajkowski to advance to the final. This set up a rematch between Nomura and Zajkowski for the gold medal.

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