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Naohisa Takato completes Paris hat-trick
11 Feb 2017 17:30
Rio 2016 Olympic bronze medallist Takato Naohisa of Japan Takato waved three fingers on both hands to the crowd as he continued his remarkable run in Paris with gold medals in 2013, 2015 and now 2017. Takato started his year in thrilling fashion as he won the Paris tournament for the third time.
The Japanese ace defeated Tashkent Grand Prix bronze medallist Sharafuddin Lutfillaev (UZB) in the final to secure a hat-trick of victories in France at just 23 years of age. Takato, who beat the Uzbek in their one previous meeting at the World Judo Masters in 2015, opened the scoring with a waza-ari from a ko-uchi-gari before pinning his opponent with a ushiro-kesa-gatame which was enough to make Lutfillaev submit after 16 seconds.
In the first semi-final Kim Channyeong (KOR) was defeated by Lutfillaev on shido penalties while in the second semi-final World Judo Masters winner Orkhan Safarov (AZE) succumb to Takato by ippon with 10 seconds left on the clock.
The first bronze medal contest was won by former world number one Safarov who recorded the only score of the contest to defeat Eric Takabatake (BRA) by a waza-ari for a third career Grand Slam medal. The second bronze medal contest saw former European champion Amiran Papinashvili (GEO) win his ninth Grand Slam medal as he turned South Korean Kim for a waza-ari score.
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