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Sarah Asahina strikes gold at Tokyo Grand Slam
4 Dec 2016 13:35
Japan’s Asahina Sarah defeated 16-year-old cadet world champion Sone Akira to win her first Grand Slam gold medal having won silver and bronze in Japan in previous years.
Tokai University member and Kodokan Cup winner Asahina, who started judo at the Kodokan, won in golden score when 16-year-old revelation Sone, who was almost 30kg lighter than her opponent, was penalised for passivity after 40 seconds of extra judo. Sone was the second youngest medal winner in the IJF World Tour this year, just behind Uta Abe who won silver on Friday.
In the first semi-final Rio 2016 Olympic bronze medallist Yamabe Kanae lost out to Asahina by ippon in a huge result for the powerful 20-year-old heavyweight. In the second semi-final Sone drove past Qingdao Grand Prix bronze medallist Lee Eun-Ju (KOR) by the maximum score as her incredible run continued at her first senior competition.
The first bronze medal was won by debutant Su Xin (CHN) who surged past Lee with a ko-soto for a waza-ari and osaekomi for 15 seconds. The Chinese heavyweight applied kuzure-kesa-gatame gold and Lee was powerless to resist it as her medal hopes evaporated inside 20 seconds
The second bronze medal was won by Yamabe as Pan American Championships bronze medallist Rochele Nunes of Brazil was penalised with a shido on four occasions to receive hansoku-make. The throw-shy contest produced no scores but rather a flurry of shidos as Nunes left her famous coach Rosicleia Campos with her head in her hands at the end of the contest.
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Anna Balashova (RUS)
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