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World champion Takanori Nagase captures third Tokyo Grand Slam gold
3 Dec 2016 12:45
World Champion Nagase Takanori triumphed at the Tokyo Grand Slam for the third time in four years as he bested Glasgow European Open winner Dominic Ressel of Germany in the U81kg final.
Nagase, 23 and Rio 2016 Olympic bronze medallist, who could be identified as the reigning world champion by his red backpatch, rolled his German opponent over for a yuko score and moved straight into ne-waza where he finished the contest in osaekomi with a tate-shiho-gatame hold for 20 seconds.
Nagase said: “I’m very pleased to win today as everyone cheered for me and I was happy to give them this win. After Rio 2016 I was not able to concentrate at all but after I was entered for this event I became focused and determined to show the world my best judo.”
In the first semi-final Nagase resisted the advances of Taipei Asian Open silver medallist Haruyama Yuki (JPN) to eke out a win over his countryman. Two shidos against Haruyama settled the scoreless contest after five minutes and the red backpatch of Nagase was guaranteed to be on display in the final. In the second semi-final Ressel ousted Zagreb Grand Prix bronze medallist Damian Szwarnowiecki (POL) with two scores as Europe had a rare finalist amid Asia and particularly Japan’s dominance.
The first bronze medal was won by Tyumen Grand Slam winner Aslan Lappinagov (RUS) who sealed a return to a Grand Slam medal podium by beating Szwarnowiecki. The 23-year-old Russian fighter submitted the Pole with shime-waza following a failed failed harai-makikomi by the latter who had to settle for fifth-place.
The second bronze medal went to former Abu Dhabi Grand Slam winner Ivaylo Ivanov (BUL) who lived dangerously for all five minutes of regulation time but still found himself in the contest with Haruyama as both judoka had received a single shido. Haruyama had attacked with o-guruma, sode-tsurikomi-goshi and seoi-nage against the world number five Ivanov who weathered an onslaught before producing a moment of brilliance with a unique counter for a waza-ari after 32 seconds of golden score.
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