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Alumnus Koki Kano’s victory leads to Japan’s first Olympic fencing gold

After a brilliant bout in the Men’s Épée Team Gold Medal Match on Friday, July 30, the efforts of Koki Kano ‘20 (School of Sport Sciences, partnered with Japan Airlines) earned Japan’s fencing team the gold medal!

In the quarterfinals, Japan narrowly bested defending champion France by a margin of one point. In the semifinals, Japan persevered, ending their match against the Republic of Korea, 45-38. With an intense bout against ROC in the finals, Japan remained triumphant, 45-36, winning Japan’s first-ever medal in the Olympic event.

Kano (right) earning a point for his team (Photo provided by Kyodo)

A rejoiceful embrace between the members of Team Japan (from left): Kazuyasu Minobe, Masaru Yamada, Satoru Uyama, and Koki Kano. (Photo provided by Kyodo)

Congratulatory address from President Aiji Tanaka

I would like to sincerely express my congratulations to Koki Kano for his efforts in the Men’s Épée Team matches, earning gold. As a student at Waseda, Kano passionately devoted his time to the Fencing club and displayed his true potential by competing in many international tournaments, becoming an athlete who truly represents Japan. Today, Kano’s performance was awe-inspiring, and his crucial final play earned his team a brilliant victory. Kano, who made his goal of gold at this year’s Olympics a reality, embodies the spirit of Waseda, and we are deeply proud. I wish you all the best in your future endeavors.

Waseda University President
Aiji Tanaka

Additional information

Koki Kano, born in Aichi Prefecture in 1997, began fleuret in his final year of elementary school, switching to epee after winning a competition in high school. He enrolled at Waseda University in 2016 and was an active member of Waseda’s fencing club, graduating from the School of Sport Sciences in 2020. Kano won a bronze medal at the 2017 World Cup in Germany before placing third individually at the 2018 Asian Games. He was also an individual winner at the 2019 World Cup in Vancouver and won a gold medal in the team competition at the 2020 World Cup in Argentina.

In the 1964 Summer Olympics held in Tokyo, Waseda University’s Memorial Hall was used as the official grounds for the fencing matches. (Memorial Hall was previously located on Toyama Campus before being reconstructed in 2019.) Kano’s medal is a first for the University’s history in the Olympic sport of fencing.

 

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