Aramitsu Kitazono

Aramitsu Kitazono (born 17 February 1991) is a Japanese visually impaired Paralympic judoka.[1] He made his maiden Paralympic appearance during the 2012 Summer Paralympics.[2] He was set to represent Japan at the 2020 Summer Paralympics in the judoka competition but had to withdraw from the event after being hit by a self driving bus.[3]

Aramitsu Kitazono
Personal information
NationalityJapanese
Born (1991-02-17) 17 February 1991 (age 30)
Kobe, Japan
Sport
SportParalympic judo
DisabilityVisually impaired
Event(s)81kg
Medal record

CareerEdit

He represented Japan at the 2012 Summer Paralympics which was his first Paralympic appearance and competed in men's 100kg event. He also represented Japan at the 2016 Summer Paralympics and took part in the men's 73kg event. He claimed a bronze medal in the men's 81kg event at the 2018 Asian Para Games which was held in Jakarta.[4]

2020 Tokyo ParalympicsEdit

He was scheduled to compete in the round of 16 event of the men's 81kg category at the 2020 Summer Olympics on 28 August 2021 and it would have been his third Paralympic appearance for Japan.[5][6] However, he was forced to withdraw at the last minute two days before his scheduled event after sustaining injuries to his head and legs during an accident which happened on 26 August 2021 at the Paralympics athletes village.[7] It was revealed that Aramitsu was hit by a Toyota e-Palette driverless vehicle when he was walking on a pedestrian crossing and the vehicle was blamed for its technical fault.[8]

According to reports, the driverless vehicle which caused the accident had been operated by Toyota and the accident prompted the company to temporarily suspend the e-Palette driverless vehicle service.[9] According to the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department, he needs to rest for at least two weeks in order to recover from the injuries. President of Toyota, Akio Toyoda, personally intervened into the matter and apologised to Aramitsu stating that there had been overconfidence in the technology of autonomous driving.[10] His opponent Dmytro Solovey of Ukraine automatically qualified to the quarterfinals as a result of Aramitsu's late withdrawal.[11]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Aramitsu Kitazono - Judo | Paralympic Athlete Profile". International Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 2021-08-28.
  2. ^ "Judo KITAZONO Aramitsu - Tokyo 2020 Paralympics". .. Retrieved 2021-08-28.
  3. ^ "Japanese Paralympic judoka with visual impairment hit by autonomous bus in athletes village". The Japan Times. 2021-08-28. Retrieved 2021-08-28.
  4. ^ https://gms.asianparagames2018.id/rs2018/bm/cm/Schedule_type_1.aspx?sid=26&sname=Judo&scode=JU&fid=2&gtype=K
  5. ^ "Judo – Competition Schedule" (PDF). olympics.com. TOCOG. 19 August 2021. Retrieved 27 August 2021.
  6. ^ "Judo – Men -81 kg – Entry List by Event" (PDF). olympics.com. TOCOG. 25 August 2021. Retrieved 27 August 2021.
  7. ^ "Athlete hit by self-driving car is out of Games | NHK WORLD-JAPAN News". NHK WORLD. Retrieved 2021-08-28.
  8. ^ "Japanese judoka hit by self-driving vehicle inside Paralympic Village". www.insidethegames.biz. Retrieved 2021-08-28.
  9. ^ "Visually impaired Paralympian hit by self-driving bus". France 24. 2021-08-27. Retrieved 2021-08-28.
  10. ^ "Toyota pauses Paralympics self-driving buses after one hits visually impaired athlete". the Guardian. 2021-08-28. Retrieved 2021-08-28.
  11. ^ "Judo – Men -81 kg – Official Communication – Judo weigh-in Men -81kg" (PDF). olympics.com. TOCOG. 27 August 2021. Retrieved 27 August 2021.