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Hashimoto wins back-to-back Slams to chase down An Changrim
11 Feb 2017 18:40
Japanese World Judo Masters winner Shoichi Hashimoto illustrated that he is more than a high-quality deputy for the absent Olympic and world champion Ono Shohei (JPN) and a world contender in his own right as he won his fifth successive competition.
World number two Hashimoto, who has closed the gap on the world leader Rustam Orujov (AZE), needed an extra 26 seconds of golden score to defeat world bronze medallist and defending Paris champion An Changrim (KOR).
In the first semi-final Rio 2016 Olympic silver medallist Rustam Orujov (AZE) fell to An by a waza-ari after 31 seconds of golden score while in the second semi-final the in-form Hashimoto defeated Tohar Butbul (ISR) by two waza-ari scored which went unanswered.
The first bronze medal was won by European u23 Championships silver medallist Tohar Butbul (ISR) against Tokyo Grand Slam bronze medallist Giyosjon Boboev (UZB) by a waza-ari score. The 23-year-old could now become a regular feature on the IJF World Judo Tour after swooping for his first medal at this level.
The second and last male bronze medal contest was an all-Azerbaijan duel as Rio 2016 Olympic silver medallist Rustam Orujov squared off against European u23 Championships winner Hidayat Heydarov (AZE). After four minutes Heydarov had one shido and Orujov had two shidos, with no scores registered, which meant the battle moved into golden score as a contest can now only be decided by a technical score in regulation time. The teenager managed to catch his role model and teammate for a match-winning waza-ari to become of the youngest medallists at the Paris Grand Slam.
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Nami Inamori (JPN)
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