TOMOHIKO HOSHINA played around, joked and made faces as several members of Team Philippines gathered for a souvenir shot at the lobby of their units inside the Athletes Villages on Sunday morning.
Once it was over, Hoshina turned serious and thought of bidding the sport goodbye.
The 25-year-old Filipino-Japanese judoka who had a forgettable debut as an Olympian a few days ago, has started thinking of retiring from the sport to concentrate on his job as a high school teacher back in Japan where he stays with her mom.
“He told me he wants to retire after the Olympics to become a full-time teacher,” judo president Dave Carter told Team Philippines chief of mission Manny Lopez during a short walk to the Village.
But Carter has asked him to reconsider, saying the association wants him to see action in the next Southeast Asian Games in Myanmar “if judo or his division is included in the program” or in the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, Korea.
“Baka mapilit pa natin. Tutal naman, he has represented the country a lot of times already. Sa tingin ko, pagbibigyan tayo.”
Hoshina, whose father is a Japanese national married to a Malolos, Bulacan native, was so devastated by his loss to Korean Kim Sung Min that he refused to talk to anyone for sometime on the bus trip back to the Village.
Pitted against a battle-scarred Korean, the 25-year-old Hoshina lost by “ippon” to Kim after taking a loud thud with barely one minute and 05 seconds gone in a quick loss that left some Philippine officials wondering if he’s in the right sport.
Carter said Hoshina really felt sad about that loss.
“But he’s okay now. He has that ready smile for all us again,” he said.
And Carter hopes the affable judoka plays for us again.