For most countries, winning almost half of the gold medals on offer in any given sport at an international meet would considered a decent result.
When it comes to judo and Japan, where the sport was born and bred, that’s not good enough.
Japan’s judo team narrowly squeezed past South Korea to top the gold medal tally as the Asia Games judo competition closed Tuesday, claiming seven golds to six for the South Korean squad.
Chinese athletes broke the duopoly, taking two victories on the final day, and an Uzbek claimed another.
Japan went into the closing day of the competition evenly matched with South Korea with six gold, two silver and three bronze medals. The final day was a let down for both Japan and South Korea.
“We are going to have to learn from our mistakes here or we will have problems in London,” team official Kazuo Yoshimura said of Japan’s Olympic aspirations in 2012.