Japan’s Masaki Fujita will be at his third Paralympic Games, and without a doubt, the 31 year-old athlete is looking to contribute to his country’s medal haul. Having already won silver and bronze in 2012 and 2008 respectively, Fujita is surely set on winning gold in Rio.
A seasoned competitor, Fujita has four Paralympic medals to his credit. At the London 2012 Paralympic Games, he earned the bronze medal in the Time Trial in the C3 Class, and in the same event four years earlier he also won bronze. In Beijing he also found success – this time on the track – with a silver in both the Individual Pursuit and the Kilo Race.
Within the next few days, the native of the Hokkaido region (the most northerly island of the Japanese archipelago) will take to the Rio Olympic Velodrome start line, and face his rivals from the international para-cycling circuit.
In the Individual Pursuit, Masaki Fujita will have to beat American Joseph Berenyi, reigning Paralympic Champion. At the 2015 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships in Apeldoorn, Holland, Fujita finished behind the American for the silver.
Track and Road: An Athlete Who Excels
Fujita has been earning solid results in track racing for several years; his first gold medal in the Kilo event dates back from the 2009 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships.
The Individual Time Trial is one of his specialities on the track as well as on the road. The Asian Para-cycling Champion won silver in the latter event at the 2015 UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup in d’Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland, and won a gold in the Road Race at the 2015 UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships in Nottwil, Switzerland.
In addition to representing Japan internationally, Masaki Fujita is also a researcher at Hitachi Construction Machinery, and is involved in the wider community. In previous years he has returned to visit his former primary school in Wakkanai, to speak to school children about his journey as a Paralympic athlete.