Joshiro Maruyama speaks his feelings, after his loss in an intense 24 minute long match to decide the Olympic qualifier of the -66kg against Hifumi Abe.
It may be hard for you to answer after such an intense match, but can you tell us about your current feelings?
Maruyama: Well… Due to the COVID-19, we had a time when most sport events couldn’t take place. Nevertheless, I’ve devoted myself and worked hard for today’s match. I believed in myself. I believed in my wife.And Ono senpai trained with me every single day. I’m filled with the feeling of gratefulness for those people right now.
Q. You’ve been working hard with a lot of expectations on your back. How was this 24 minute one match with Hifumi Abe? Maruyama: Time flew past really fast.I didn’t know it was 24 minutes long, until you just mentioned it to me.But… Although I did lose as a result, I was able to show everything I’ve got.
Q. It was definitely a breathtaking match. Can you tell us what kind of person Hifumi Abe is to you? Maruyama: I think that the reason why I was able to become this strong, both physically and mentally, was not because of my own effort. The existence of Abe, was the reason that drove me to train so hard.He is for sure, an important factor that helped me grow stronger.
Q. You’ve mentioned about Ono senpai, your wife, and all the people who supported you. What are the words you would like to say to them right now? Maruyama: The first thing that came up in my mind is… Thank you so much for looking after me, and fight with me until today. Also, results mean everything in the world of competition, and I lost today. I wanted to pay back everyone through winning today’s match, so I feel truly sorry that after all, I wasn’t able to give anything back to them.
Q. What kind of words will you have with your wife? Maruyama: I want to thank her for coming along so far with me, for something I wanted to do. Maruyama: My career as a Judoka is not over yet. I will keep looking forward, and never give up. I will continue to work hard to become stronger both physically and mentally.