Feature: Japanese judo coach to have key role for Brazil at Olympics
February 15, 2016 11:34 pm
TOKYO, Feb. 11 — A Japanese judo instructor working for Brazil's national team is bringing cultural and technical experience to her pupils as they ramp up their training program with just six months to go before the opening of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
"As my team members are improving their physical condition, all they need from me now is to psych them up," Yuko Fujii, 33, said in tokyo in December when she was in the city with the Brazilian team for an international judo competition.
Fujii was born in Daifu, Aichi Prefecture, and began practicing judo when she was 5 years old. Although she finished third in a national tournament when she was in high-school, she never reached a level that would see her qualify a place in the Japanese Olympic team. She ended her judo career when she was 24 in 2007, around the same time as she completed her graduate school studies in Japan and moved to the University of Bath in Britain to improve her English. (PNA/Kyodo)