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pair of siblings from Japan sets their sights on achieving glory in Paris

Japan’s dynamic sibling duo, Olympic judo champions Hifumi and Uta Abe, affirmed their shared commitment to defending their titles at the upcoming Paris Games.

Following their remarkable individual gold medal victories just an hour apart during the pandemic-postponed Tokyo Olympics in 2021, the Abe siblings are primed to showcase their dominance once again on the judo stage in Paris. With both boasting impressive records as four-time world champions, they each expressed their determination not to be outshone by the other.

Hifumi Abe, 26, emphasized the mutual inspiration they draw from each other’s hard work, stating, “I know we are both working hard and we share the same target; that fact alone helps me. When I see her working hard and putting in the effort, it gives me strength and makes me think that I have to work hard too.”

Hifumi claimed victory in the men’s under-66kg Olympic category in Tokyo, overcoming Georgia’s Vazha Margvelashvili, while shortly after, Uta secured triumph in the women’s under-52kg division against France’s Amandine Buchard.

As they anticipate their simultaneous journeys in Paris, 23-year-old Uta stressed the significance of mutual encouragement, expressing, “If we both advance through the tournament, it provides support for each other. The primary goal is to maintain winning momentum, enabling us both to reach the final and emerge victorious.”

After their Olympic victories, both siblings extended their winning streaks by securing world titles in 2022 and 2023 in their individual weight categories.

For Hifumi, the prospect of competing in an Olympics away from his home poses a notable challenge. However, he maintains his confidence, stating, “Considering the time difference, I must ensure proper preparation to be in top form. Regarding judo, if I maintain my usual preparation, I’m certain I won’t be defeated.”

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