Saito at the 1988 Summer Olympics
|Born|| January 2, 1961|
|Died|| January 20, 2015 (aged 54)|
|Height||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|Weight||143 kg (315 lb)|
Hitoshi Saito(斉藤 仁Saitō Hitoshi, January 2, 1961 – January 20, 2015) was a Japanese judoka who won two consecutive gold medals at the Olympic games.
|Wikinews has related news: Japanese Olympic judoka Hitoshi Saito dies aged 54|
Saito began judo in junior high school, and in 1974, he was scouted to transfer to the Kokushikan Junior High School, located in Setagaya, Tokyo. He continued to practice judo at the Kokushikan high school, and won the inter-high school judo group competition during his junior year. He entered Kokushikan University in 1979, and faced Yasuhiro Yamashita a total of 7 times in the finals of the All-Japan Judo Championships, Jigoro Kano Cup, and All-Japan University Judo Championships. He lost to Yamashita in each tournament final, but drew with him several times during other matches. Saito continued to work at Kokushikan University after graduating in 1983, and won the gold medal in the heavyweight (+95 kg) division of the 1984 Summer Olympics and in the open weight division of the 1983 World Judo Championships. In the 1985 World Judo Championships, he faced Cho Yong-Chul of South Korea and was forced to retire from the match after his arm was dislocated by a standing armlock applied by Cho. He also injured his right knee prior to the All-Japan Championships in 1987, but made his return at the 1988 All-Japan Championships, winning the championship for the first time to gain his second trip to the Olympic games. Saito faced Cho Yong-Chul again in the semi-finals of the 1988 Summer Olympics, competing under tremendous pressure after every other Japanese judoka in the 1988 Olympics had been defeated before reaching the finals. He defeated Cho by decision, and won the final against Henry Stöhr to capture his second Olympic gold medal.
Kokushikan University is a private university in Setagaya, Tokyo, Japan.
Yasuhiro Yamashita is one of the most successful judo competitors of all time. He currently works as an instructor or advisor for numerous organizations, including Tokai University, the International Judo Federation, and the All Japan Judo Federation. He retired from competitive judo on June 17, 1985 after a remarkable career where he won five gold medals in international competitions and marked 203 consecutive victories until his retirement. He received the Japanese National Prize of Honor on October 9, 1984.
The All-Japan judo championships is a judo tournament held every year in Japan. The men's tournament is held in Nippon Budokan on 29 April and the women's tournament is held in Yokohama Cultural Gymnasium in April. The Kodokan and All Japan Judo Federation sponsor the championship.
Saito retired from competition shortly after his second Olympics as an athlete and became an instructor for Kokushikan University and the All Japan Judo Federation. He also served as a coach for the Japanese judo team during the 2004 Summer Olympics. He was also on friendly terms with his former great rival, Yasuhiro Yamashita.Yamashita was the only judoka who was able to defeat Saito. However, among the foreigners were the Soviet heavyweight Grigory Verichev from Chelyabinsk. Verichev won twice actually Saito, throwing him for IPPON . One such case was in the championship of the Kodokan in the 1980s. Verichev defeated Saito in Japan at the regular championship of the Kodokan, throwing him for Ippon. But once again, the judges gave the victory to Saito.
The 2004 Summer Olympic Games, officially known as the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad and commonly known as Athens 2004, was a premier international multi-sport event held in Athens, Greece, from 13 to 29 August 2004 with the motto Welcome Home.
He died aged 54 from cholangiocarcinoma (bile duct cancer), a rare but rapidly progressing and incurable form of liver cancer.After his death Saito was promoted by the Kodokan to 9th dan rank in judo and was also awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette by the Japanese Emperor.
Cholangiocarcinoma, also known as bile duct cancer, is a type of cancer that forms in the bile ducts. Symptoms of cholangiocarcinoma may include abdominal pain, yellowish skin, weight loss, generalized itching, and fever. Light colored stool or dark urine may also occur. Other biliary tract cancers include gallbladder cancer and cancer of the ampulla of Vater.
The Order of the Rising Sun is a Japanese order, established in 1875 by Emperor Meiji. The Order was the first national decoration awarded by the Japanese government, created on 10 April 1875 by decree of the Council of State. The badge features rays of sunlight from the rising sun. The design of the Rising Sun symbolizes energy as powerful as the rising sun in parallel with the "rising sun" concept of Japan.
The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.
Antonius Johannes Geesink was a Dutch 10th dan judoka. He was the first non-Japanese judoka to win gold at the World Judo Championship, a feat he accomplished in 1961 and 1965. He was also an Olympic Champion, having won gold at the 1964 Summer Olympics in Japan, and won a record 21 European Judo Championships during his career.
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