Three-time world champion Masashi Edenuma will work in Cardiff with his wife and two children for at least a year. During this period, he will join the Welsh judo coaching staff to accumulate coaching experience.
He joined a long line of Japanese champions who were studying English in England while helping teach judo there. The great men of the past include Yamashita Yasuhiro, Sato Nobuyuki, Kashiwazaki Katsuhiko, Yamaguchi Kaori and Inoue Komako.
Elanuma was the world champion in the U66 kg category in 2011, 2013 and 2014. In 2012, he was the favourite for gold at the London Olympics, but in the semi-final he was accidentally thrown to Shavdatu Ashvili of ippon Georgia with a sumi-gaeshi by then-unknown Rasha.
It was in London that Elanuma was involved in one of the most controversial refereeing decisions in judo history. Einanuma came closest to scoring in regular time in the quarter-final against South Korea’s Jo Junho. The game then went into gold, with Cho being more aggressive. In the hantei that followed, Cho was declared the winner. However, the referee committee called the referee and the corner referee and asked them to reconsider. Do the hantei all over again, this time the decision is up to Ebinuma.
While some critics have criticized the decision, a careful analysis of what happened will tell you that the referee committee’s assessment that Elanuma should have been declared the winner was correct. Hantei’s decision should go to the man who came closest to scoring, and that man was Ebinuma. Cho was definitely more aggressive during the Golden Score, but he never came close to scoring. So Einanuma should have made a decision, and in the end, it did.
Elanuma was involved in another controversial referee decision at the 2013 World Championships in Rio. In the U66kg final, Elanuma’s opponent Azamat Mukanov of Kazakhstan kept attacking him with illegal waki-gatame. During one of the vicious attacks, he broke Elanuma’s arm, but Elanuma refused to tap, and “Matte” was eventually called out after a lengthy ground exchange. Despite the arm injury, Einauma stepped forward and attacked Mukanov with a jumping big Negari to score a point. A crowd of admiring people shouted their approval.
In fact, neither the referee nor the video referee imposed an apparently illegal technical penalty on Mukanov, not once, not twice, but three times, one of the biggest defeats in the history of World Championship refereeing.
Elanuma, who has been working hard to lose weight for his competition area, finally rose to the U73 kg class in 2018. In doing so, he presents a “good question” for Japan, where three world champions (Elanuma, Hashimoto and Shohei Ono) are all in contention. U73kg Olympic venue.
Adjusting to the new weight class proved to be a bit of a challenge for Elanuma. Although he played in a number of IJF World Tour events, he didn’t win a gold medal until his victory over Hashimoto in the Grand Slam final in Osaka in November 2019. To his credit, Ebinuma also managed to beat Shohei Ono (using uchimata, no less) in Japan domestic matches, although he lost to him twice in IJF matches.
Elanuma announced his withdrawal from the competition in April 2021 after failing to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.