Japan in 2012 Olympic Games in London

Modified on August 20, 2012


293 athletes are taking part or less than in the Beijing Games. That's basically because team sports Japan use to excel including women's softball and baseball have been taken out of the Games. The number of officials are more than 220. The captain of the delegation is javelin thrower Yukifumi Murakami.

Ginza Parade on Aug 20
The medalists celebrated their excellent performance on a motorcade. There were about 500,000 people crowded in the glamorous heart of Tokyo shouting names of their favorte athletes and hoisting handmade signboards.

Closing Ceremony Aug 12
Japanese team wrapped up the Games all proud. Japan won the most number of medals ever in London breaking its record achieved at the Athens Game. The flagbearer for the closing, 3 time Olympic champion in women's wrestling Saori Yoshida.

Aug 12
A gold in men's 66 kilo wrestling. The medal was clinched by Tatsuhiro Yonemitsu . This is the first gold medal for a male wrestler since the 1988 Soeul Olympic Games. In rhythmic gymnastics team event, "Fairy Japan" finished 7th. This is the best ever.

Aug 11
In boxing, a feat by Ryota Murata in the middleweight class. Murata outperformed Brazil's Esquiva Falcao Florentino to win the gold. It's the first for Japan in boxing since 1964. Murata works in Tokyo's Toyo University. Women's volleyball team played against South Korea for the bronze. Japan clinched all 3 sets to win a medal for the first time since the 1984 Los Angeles Games. In the men's 400 meter relay, the Japanese team finished 5th. Of course. the winner was the Jamaicans with Usain Bolt wrapping up the race with a world record.

Aug 10
In boxing's bantam weight, Satoshi Shimizu won the bronze medal. It's the first boxing medal for Japan in 44 years. In men's wrestling freestyle 55 kilo Shinichi Yumoto wins the bronze. The men's soccer team lost the bronze medal to South Korea amid controversey in the bilateral political scene. South Korea's President Lee Myung-bak landed on Takeshima Island lying between Japan and the Korean peninsula claimed by both countries. It's reported after the game, the Korean team flashed a political message.

Aug 9
In women's wrestling 2 time Olympic gold medalist Saori Yoshidadid it again in 55 kilo weight class with overwhelming power. However in the 72 kilo weight Japan for the first time failed to win a medal as Kyoko Hamaguchi lost in the first round. In women's soccer final, the US goaled twice. Japan goaled in the later half but couldn't equalize. It lost 1 to 2 to settle for the silver medal. In women's volleyball Japan lost all 3 sets to Brazil in the semi-finals.

Aug 8
Japan suddenly collected 2 gold medals. 2 time Olympic gold medalist Kaori Icho clinched the women's 63 kilo title by beating China's Jing Ruixue. Her sister and Beijing Olympic silver medalist Chiharu cheered her on. In the women's 48 kilo which Chiharu had vacanted, Hitomi Obara fought for the first time in the Olympic Games at 31. The former 51 class specialist which is not an Olympic category gave up wrestling but returned and beat Mariya Stadnyk of Azerbaijian for the title.

Aug 7
In women's table tennis, Japan won a medal for the first time. The team includes idol player Ai Fukuhara who has trained in China and with her Sayaka Hirano and Kasumi Ishikawa won the silver medal. The women's volleyball team clinched the game from China in the quarterfinals, advancing to the semi finals for the fist time in 24 years. Men's soccer team lost to Mexico 3 to 1 in the semi-finals despite a good start with Yuki Otsu's long goal.The footballers still have a chance to win a medal.

Aug 6
The medal rush continues. In men's wrestling Greco Roman style 60 kilo, Ryutaro Matsumoto the bronze. Excitement over women's soccer. In the semi-final the women clinched a very competitive game from France 2 to 1. Japan advances to the final for the first time in the Olympic Games.

Aug 5
In the gymnastics men's individual floor event, Kohei Uchimura won a silver medal. It's the final competition for Uchimura at this Olympic Games. For the first time ever, Japan's fencing team won the silver medal. It was led by last Olympic silver medalist Yuki Ota. Japan's first medal in track and field was clinched by Koji Murofushi in the hammer throw. He threw 78.7 meters and ended with a bronze medal.

Aug 4
Swimming events wrapped up for Japan with 400 meter relays. In the men's, first up, Ryosuke Irie, who was 2nd. Taking over, Kosuke Kitajima who took the led to relay to Takeshi Matsuda who fell. In the end, Takuro Fujii kept 2nd place and the team won a silver. The women's started by Aya Terakawa, Satomi Suzuki, Yuka Kato and finished by Haruka Ueda broke the Japan record with 3:55'73" to win the bronze. In badminton's women's doubles, Japan's pair Mizuki Fujii and Reika Kakiiwa reached the final, partly by pure luck to a forced exit of 4 pairs for losing on purpose. It played a competitive 2nd set but lost straight to Chinese pair Qing Tian and Yunlei Zhao. In soccer, the women's team advanced to the semi-finals, and so did the men for the first time in 44 years defeating Egypt 3 to 0.

Aug 3
In men's archery individual event, Takaharu Furukawa clinched a silver medal. It's the 3rd medal in the event for Japan. In woman's under 78 kilo judo, Mika Sugimoto won a silver. Men's judo ended with noone winning a gold medal for the first time since judo became an Olympic sport.

Aug 2
More medals in swimming. In the men's 200 meter back stroke Ryosuke Irie won another medal, this time a silver. In the women's 200 meter breadstroke Satomi Suzuki earned another medal.

Aug 1
A gold medal for gymastics wonder boy Kohei Uchimura . He was in the all around individual event and started with the pommel horse in which he lost balance during the team event. He overcame that failure this time. He was either first or 2nd in other events and with his elegant performance became the 4th Japanese ever to become the all around winner. In judo's up to 90 kilo men's class, Masashi Nishiyama won the bronze. In swimming, more medals were won. Ryo Tateishi beat 2 time Olympic champion in the 200 meter breaststroke Kosuke Kitajima for the bronze. In the women's 200 meter butterfly, Natsumi Hoshi came in 3rd for the bronze.

Jul 31
In Judo, the youngest of the Ueno Olympian sisters, Yoshie wins the bronze in the less than 63 kilo class. Another bronze in swimming. Takeshi Matsuda clocked 1:53'21 to win a bronze in 2 Olympic Games in a row in men's 200 meter butterfly.

Jul 30
Japan's first gold medal went to Kaori Matsumoto in women's judo up to 57 kilo class. It's the first gold for Japan in this category. The 24 year old fights with a fierce look earning the nickname of a wild animal. In men's under 73 kilo class, 23 yedar old Riki Nakaya won the silver. In the gymnastics men's team event, Japan suffered falls in the pommel vault and the floor competition. Kohei Uchimura lost balance at the end of his pommel horse performance to wrap up the team competition. His score was low and Japanese officials complained. The juries agreed that the score was low and with the amended score, Japan won the silver. In swimming, Japan had a bronze medal rush. Aya Terakawa won 3rd place in women's 100 meters back stroke. In the men's Ryosuke Irie earns the bronze. Satomi Suzuki surprisingly won the bronze in the women's 100 meter breast stroke.

Jul 29
In men's judo, Masashi Ebinuma won the bronze in the under 66 kilo class. It's after a reversal of a win that was given to his South Korean opponent. In women's archery, Japan won a medal for the first time ever. That's after competing against Russia. In other sports underway, in men's soccer, Japan defeated Morroco 1 to 0 to advance. In men's tennis, Kei Nishigori won making him the first Japanese man to win in the Olympics in 88 years.

Jul 28
Japan won its first medal in men's judo. In the men's under 60 kilo Hiroaki Hiraoka who had a tough quarter final, easily won in the semi finals, but lost in the final match. He won the silver. In women's weighlifting 48 kilo clean and jerk, veter Hiromi Miyake broke her own Japan record to succeed in starting her lifts from 83 kilos up to 110 kilos. She won the silver. In men's swimming 400 meter individual medley, 17 year old Kosuke Hagino beat legend Michael Phelps clocking 4 minutes 8.94 seconds to clinch the bronze.

Opening Ceremony Jul 27
For viewers in Japan, it could not be at a worse time, very early in the morning. So it was broadcast a few times by public broadcaster and a commercial station. The Japanese delegation wore red jackets and white pants representing the national flag. The flagbeared was Beijing gold medalist in women's wrestling Saori Yoshida.

Jul 26

The men's soccer team played against Spain in Group D. The young Blue Samurai had difficulty keeping the ball from the under 21 champion. But in the 34th minute, Yuki Otsu goaled. After that, Spain was slapped a red card and had to compete with only 10 players. Japan had a chance to goal in the latter half. At any rate won 1 to 0 and earned 3 points to head the group.

Jul 25

Nadeshiko Japan, last year's world champion played its first game. It's against Canada in Group F of women's soccer. In the 33rd minute Naomi Kawasumi goaled. In the 44th minute Aya Miyama headed in a goal. Canada goaled in the later half, and Japan in the end won 2 to 1.