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Japan dominates Tokyo Grand Slam with 100% conversion
4 Dec 2015 10:35
The first day of the Grand Slam in Tokyo is over with five victories for Japan, stating that this is what we can expect at the Olympic Games. However in Tokyo’s Metropolitan Gymnasium four Japanese fought in each category where in Rio there’s space for one.
Most dominant was Japan in the semi finals U52kg where four Japanese qualified and World Champion Nakamura Misato took the victory in Tokyo for the second time, her first was in 2009. Hashimoto Yuki won the previous three editions. In the final Nakamura defeated Shishime Ai by three penalties and no blink at all.
More spectacular was the final U60kg with a devastating drive for Takato Naohisa against Beslan Mudranov. It could have been the 2016 Olympic final as these guys are at the top of the world. Takato was however one step too high for the Russia who got busted a couple of times and finally fell for the charmes and skills of the tiny Japanese man who was clearly emotional after taking the title. An important victory like Kosei Inoue had announced in advance.
At the Press conference in advance Kosei Inoue and Mitsuhisa Nanjyo said that "About the Olympics all-star representative selection, the Grand Slam Tokyo is an important tournament. We need a good result to be able to qualify for the selection for Rio.” Obviously the real selection will be based upon the Japanese Olympic Trials in April 2016. World ranking leader Kim Won Jin (KOR) won the bronze with Toru Shishime, a strong podium.
The gold in the category U6kg was not for World champion Ebinuma Masashi but for Takajo Tomofumi. For the third time he won the Grand Slam in Tokyo. In the final it was Takajo who led quickly but Ebinuma kept searching for that ippon, spectacular to see, but Takajo was way more efficient and captured the gold.
Most Tokyo Grand Slam victories
Kaori Matsumoto, 4
Tomoko Fukumi, 3
The women’s U48kg category was a great revenge for Ami Kondo who defeated the title in a straight fight versus Haruna Asami. Kondo is the 2014 World champion vs the runner up of 2015. There was bronze for Olympic Champion Sarah Menezes (BRA) who finally showed to be able to deal with this level again, just in time.
U57kg it was Yoshida Tsukasa who surprisingly won the title. Tsukasa won her five fights including the world’s number one Sumiya Dorjsuren. In the final she met with French Helene Receveaux who won a medal at Grand Slam for the first time in her career. Reveceaux survived a pool with Matsumoto, but the world champion was defeated by Rafaela Silva, the 2013 World champion. Silva lost to Receveaux and later for bronze against Dorjsuren. Hungarian Hedvig Karakas won her pool with Caprioriu, Ojeda, Waechter and Udaka and took bronze against Roper.
Watch the profiles of today’s winners at JudoInside.com
Naohisa Takato World Champion 2013 in Rio de Janeiro. Won bronze at the worlds in Chelyabinsk in 2014. Won the World Junior title in 2011 in Cape Town. Takato was World U17 Champion in Budapest in 2009. Won the Grand Slams in Moscow, Tokyo, Paris and Masters in Tyumen 2013. Paris and Tokyo in 2015.
Tomofumi Takajo won some major events starting in 2011 at the Grand Slam in Tokyo that he won three times in a row from 2013-2015. In 2014 followed by the GP Ulaanbaatar and in 2015 he won the Grand Slam of Tyumen. Takajo won the Universiade in Kazan in 2013. Takajo is Asian champion in 2015.
Ami Kondo was World Champion seniors in 2014 in Chelyabinsk. Later she won the World Junior Championships U21 in 2014 in Miami. In 2015 she won bronze at the senior worlds in Astana. One of the youngest ever World Champions. She won the Grand Slam of Tokyo in 2015 in a straight fight with Asami.
Misato Nakamura is triple World Champion in 2015 in Astana, 2011 in Paris and 2009 in Rotterdam, she won silver in 2010. Nakamura is the 2008 Olympic bronze medallist in Beijing. She is the only judoka who won Grand Slams in 5 different cities. In 2015 in Tokyo. She won the Asian Games in 2014.
Tsukasa Yoshida was Japanese champion as Cadet and Junior and won World bronze in 2011 as Cadet U57kg. With the Japanese team she won the world title in 2013 and won bronze at the Grand Slam in Tokyo. In 2015 Yoshida won the Grand Slam in Tyumen and followed by the Grand Slam of Tokyo.
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