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Japanese juniors showcase their golden ambition in St. Petersburg
16 Apr 2016 16:15
The Japanese junior team was superior at the first day of the European Cup for in St. Petersburg. with five gold medals Japan dominated the medal table, while host Russia lost six finals. Many of the young team of Japan were World Cadet champion in 2015 in Sarajevo and will now follow the junior circuit.
The first gold medal was for Azerbaijan though. In the lightweight category U55kg Natig Gurbali added another medal to his impressive youth career. Gurbanli defeated Damir Meremov of Russian in the final.
Genki Koga, last year’s World Cadet champion and Asian Junior champion struck with gold in St. Petersburg in the category U60kg. The Japanese talent showed himself last year in Bielsko Biala (POL) for the first time and is a promising judoka, obviously inspired by father Toshihiko Koga.
Japanese Kenzo Tagawa (JPN), the winner of Bremen last year, captured the gold in the final U66kg. His opponent, Brazilian super talent who won bronze at the World Championships last year in Abu Dhabi. Last year Cargnin won in Prague and took silver in Leibnitz. Kenzo Tagawa won five fights in the category with 34 participants.
The final U73kg was an all Russian occasion with Aram Grigorian and Edvard Kaiumov taking the main roles. It was new kid on the bkock Edvard Kaiumov who took the gold.
In the women’s division Japan was also very strong with three gold medals. The first gold medal was for French Justine Deleuil who recently warmed up at the Thuringen Pokal in Bad Blankenburg. Today she defeated Viktoriia Vasilchenko (RUS). Mai Umekita of Japan won gold U48kg in the final against Daria Pichkaleva (RUS). Umekita was also Asian Junior champion and became world champion with the Japanese cadet team in Sarajevo last year.
Usually the Japanese cadets come to St. Petersburg and they will also start at the World Junior Championships, which in this Olympic year is not held, so the generation has to wait another year.
Kana Tomizawa of Japan defeated another Russian youngster in the final, Natalia Maliukova won the third silver medal and sixth silver of Russian today, three men, three women. Also Tomizawa was World Cadet champion in both the individual tournament as the team event and she also captured gold in the team event at the World Junior Championships.
Haruka Funakubo defeated French Sarah Leonie Cysique in St. Petersburg. In the category U57kg 21 girls competed and Funakubo was the expected winner as reigning World Junior champion.
In total Japan won five gold medals followed by Russia, France and Azerbaijan.
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