1972 Japan Olympics

1972: Japan’s Reflections on the Munich Olympics

At the end of Japan’s Official Report on the 1972 Olympics, the authors included a section that looked toward the future. They pinpointed areas where the Japanese men’s team needed to improve to stay ahead of the Soviet team, and they were hopeful because Kaneko Akitomo was part of the Technical Committee. Previously, they had felt at a geographic and linguistic disadvantage presumably because Japan is outside of Europe and Japanese is not a primary language of the FIG.

As for the women, the authors believed that Japan needed to go back to the basics and start over again.

Kato Sawao, Rings, 1972 Olympics, Copyright: imago/Sven Simon

5. Reflections and Future Measures

In Munich, the Soviet Union, a strong rival, was completely outclassed by the Japanese team, which had to rely on Andrianov alone due to the poor performance of Voronin and Klimenko. This defeat was a great blow to the Soviet Union, and they must have already started their campaign to defeat Japan.

The skills performed in many competitions are being studied from all angles, and the Soviets are probably working hard to strengthen their athletes. Considering the national character of the Soviet Union, it can be predicted that serious research and strengthening will surely be conducted for the next competition, and that all-out efforts will be made to regain the title. The Japanese gymnastics world must take advantage of this and continue to further study and strengthen its gymnastics.

Japan may be at a disadvantage geographically and linguistically, especially in the fast-moving world of gymnastics. However, the election of Mr. Kaneko Akitomo from Japan as a member of the Technical Executive Committee is a great opportunity for Japanese gymnastics to lead the world gymnastics world, and we expect further development of Japanese gymnastics. Since the basis of our coaching policy is originality and the transformation of skills, we must further strengthen the mental discipline of our athletes and maintain our throne, as well as systematic research and training. It is regrettable and we must deeply reflect on the fact that we did poorly on floor and vault, where we dominated the medals in past competitions. Although new skills are being developed through scientific training, the basic skills required to perform these skills must be better. Evasoft, with its full complement of assistants, is not too involved in the acquisition of skills. The number of matches has increased, and the mental and physical burden placed on the players is very heavy. In particular, I expect them to make further efforts in pursuit of the weak points of this year’s tournament (areas where the lower body should be strengthened).

In addition, to strengthen the development of the younger age groups, it is urgent to strengthen the excellent young athletes from all over the country as well as to expand the younger age groups through training sessions for coaches, etc., in accordance with the training policy. In addition, we should always organize and strengthen the national team, and also make efforts to strengthen and enhance the second and third age groups of athletes.

In the women’s team, the team finished 7th in the team competition, and it is time to reflect on the causes of the defeat and at the same time, to focus all efforts on rebuilding the gymnastics world as a whole. There may be some differences in technique due to age and physical disadvantages. It is necessary to go back to the basics and start over again.

(Director Takemoto Masao, Team Leaders Endo Yukio and Chiba Ginko)

5. 反省と今後の対策

ミュンヘン大会においては,強敵ソ連も、ボローニン, クリメンコの不振で、アンドレアノフただ一人にたよらざるを得ない状態で完全に日本チームに水をあけられた。この敗戦はソ連にとって大きな痛手であり,打倒日本を目指しすでに始動していることであろう。

多くの大会で演じられた技は、あらゆる角度から研究され、選手の強化に傾注していることと思われる。ソ連の国柄を思えず必ずや次の大会への真剣な研究と強化が進められ, 王座奪還すべく, 全力をあげて努力していることが予測できる。日本の体操界も,それを受けて立ち、一層の研究, 強化を続けなくてはならない。

特に流れの早い世界の体操界の動きについて日本は地理的にも、また言語的な面にも、不利な面はあろう。 しかし特に今回, 技術実行委員に日本から金子明友氏が選出されたことは日本の体操が世界の体操界をリードする上において,その活路が見い出され, ますます発展が期待される。 指導方針の根源はあくまでも独創性と技の改造であるから,われわれは更に組織的な研究と, トレーニングが必要であると同時に肝心の選手の精神的な修行をより一層強化し, 王座を堅持しなくてはならないのである。 特に今大会では,過去の大会でメダルを独占したゆか, 跳馬において不振であったことは,残念であると同時に,深く反省する必要がある。 新しい技術の開発も科学的なトレーニングによってあみだされてはいるものの、その技を実施する上では,それに必要な, 基盤的な能力がより高いものでなければならない。 エバーソフト, 補助者の完備そして技術の習得にはしりすぎることはないだろうか。試合数も増え, 選手に加えられた精神的, 体力的, 負担は非常に大きくそれを克服し, 勝利者になるには,目先のことにこだわることなく, しっかりした練習計画のもとに, 強化する必要がある。 特に今大会の弱点(下半身を強化すべき点) を追究し一層の努力を期待する。

また低年齢層の開発強化については, 強化方針にのっとり, 全国の優秀な若い選手の強化と共に、指導者の講習会等による低辺拡充策も急務であろう。そして常時ナショナル・チームを編成し強化すると共にそれに続く第2,第3の選手層の強化充実に努力すべきであろう。

女子においては団体7位で終わり多くの反省をし,敗戦の原因追求と同時に体操界あげての再建に全力を傾注する時である。 年齢的なもの、 身体的条件のハンディもあり技術的な面での差もあろう。 今一度初心に帰ってやりなおすことが必要であろう。

(監督・竹本正男, チームリーダー 遠藤幸雄, 千葉吟子)

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