IJF: You are the current World Champion. What are the main challenges to become world champion again in 2018? Hashimoto Soichi: As the defending champion, I want to repeat my performance in Budapest and achieve my second consecutive title.
IJF: Who will be your toughest competitor(s) and how do you prepare to face him/them? Hashimoto Soichi: I have many rivals, but I don’t do anything specific to prepare for each of them. My biggest preparation is making the mindset of “I will be World Champion”.
IJF: Japanese athletes are among the top favorites competitors in all weight divisions. How do you cope with that extra pressure making you the man to defeat? Hashimoto Soichi: It’s difficult not to feel any pressure at this level of competition. Therefore, I accept the pressure and simply try to enjoy the tournament.
IJF: Which is your favourite value in Judo and why? Hashimoto Soichi: I made a lot of friends through Judo. From Middle School, High School, University, and now at my company. I feel fortunate to be able to work hard and share a common goal with them.
IJF: What did you learn in judo? Hashimoto Soichi: To be grateful. I am grateful to be in an environment where I can focus on Judo. I am grateful to my parents, friends, fans and everyone else who supports me.