Who is Toshihiko Koga? Toshihiko Koga Bio/Wiki
Toshihiko Koga was an Olympic judoka who competed in the -71 kg and -78 kg weight classes. Koga is thought to have the best ippon seoi nage of all time. He was born on November 21, 1967, in Kitashigeyasu, Saga, Japan.
Toshihiko Koga, a Japanese Olympic judo champion at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, died on Wednesday, according to people close to him.
He was 53 years old.
Judo was his first sport when he was in elementary school. During junior high school, he went to Tokyo to enroll in Kodogakusha, a judo school that later produced Olympic gold medalists Hidehiko Yoshida and Makoto Takimoto.
He continued his education at Nippon Sport Science University, where he won numerous awards, including five consecutive Kodokan Cup titles and six consecutive All-Japan Judo Championship titles.
He finished third in the 1987 World Judo Championships in Essen and was selected to compete in the 1988 Summer Olympics, where he was eliminated in the third round.
After winning the 1989 and 1991 World Judo Championships, Koga returned to the Olympics in 1992, but a serious injury to his left knee during a randori (sparring) session against Hidehiko Yoshida stopped him from using his best technique, the Ippon Seoinage.
In 2000, Koga announced his retirement from competition and went on to coach the All-Japan women’s judo team. He founded the Koga Juku, a judo school for young children, in Takatsu-Ku, Kawasaki, in April 2003.
Ayumi Tanimoto, one of his students, took gold in the -63 kg division at the 2004 Summer Olympics. He took over as head coach of the International Pacific University judo team in April 2007, and as a 7th dan judo rank holder, he has appeared on several national television shows in Japan.
People close to the former athlete have confirmed Koga’s death, according to the public radio station NHK. Koga had undergone surgery last year for cancer and was still receiving medical treatment.
The cause of death is unknown, but Koga was treated for cancer last year, according to NHK.