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Legend Masashi Ebinuma claims first medal in Paris since 2011
6 Feb 2016 21:20
Ebinuma Masashi captured the Grand Slam in Paris, his first medal in France since his first World title in 2011. Since then Ebinuma hasn’t lost his glance. Meanwhile triple World Champion, Olympic bronze and professional judo magician.
If world number two Davaadorj Tumurkhuleg of Mongolia, winner of the last Paris Grand Slam in October and ultimate favourite for this edition of the event as well, entered the final against, the judoka who can already be considered as a judo legend. After less than a minute, Ebinuma launched his left handed uchi-mata on the edge of the fighting area. Davaadorj tried to counterattack with a ura-nage, but the Japanese was on his guard. He just had to accentuate the pressure and pull the arm to conclude a fantastic judo day with a powerful ippon. The 44 athletes U66kg was the second best participation ever in Paris. The record is 50 men in 2012, the Olympic year where Ebinuma didn't participate in Paris and showed himself just once at the World Masters before winning bronze in London after his loss against young Lasha Shavdatuashvili in the semi final.
In the first semi-final top seed Davaadorj defeated former Tashkent Grand Prix bronze medallist Andraz Jereb (SLO) by the maximum score at exactly the halfway point. In the second semi-final Ebinuma had to toil against Tunisia Open winner Kilian Le Blouch (FRA) as he only prevailed only shido penalties against the impressive French fighter.
In the first bronze medal contest Le Blouch secured the greatest result of his career as he edged Qingdao Grand Prix bronze medallist Kim Lim-Hwan (KOR) by a yuko from a ko-uchi-gari. The French support gave Le Blouch the extra lift he needed to grace an IJF World Judo Tour podium for the first time as kim was unable to impose himself. The second bronze medal went to world champion An Ba-Ul (KOR) who had to settle for a bronze medal fight against Andraz Jereb in the final block having ran into Ebinuma in the quarter-finals. The South Korean fighter had to wait until the last 18 seconds to score when Jereb launched a uchi-mata, that An perfectly sidestepped from to counterattack and score a spectacular ippon.
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