MANILA, Philippines – Staning 5-foot-11 and weighing 276 pounds, Filipino-Japanese Tomohiko Hoshina is easily the heftiest among the current roster of Pinoys competing in the London Olympics.
He is also one of the hardest-working athletes in the lineup.
Hoshina said he has been training every day even before becoming the 7th Filipino to qualify for the London Games.
“I practice everyday and expect a tough battle for the gold medal,” said the 25-year-old judoka in an email correspondence with ABS-CBNnews.com.
Hoshina was born in 1987 at the Shizuoka Prefecture to a Filipino mother and a Japanese serviceman.
His father passed away when Hoshina was 12, but not before handing down the love for judo to his son.
“My father was a judoka,” said Hoshina.
At the age of 13, Hoshina entered the world of competitive judo by joining a tournament in junior high school.
Further honing his skills was his participation in local and international tournaments, including the 2005 World Judo Championships in Egypt.
In the 2007 Southeast Asian Games in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, he nabbed the silver medal in his division.
Hoshina said his most memorable competition was the 2010 World Championships.
But Hoshina’s biggest challenge has yet to come.
In 2012, he made it to the Top 20 of the Asian men’s judo 100-kilogram division and earned a ticket to London Olympics.
“A battle, battle -- I would like to win certainly,” Hoshina said on his initial foray in the Olympics.