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Japan’s Kokoro Kageura joins Japans heavyweight candidates

26 Feb 2017 19:25

 by Mark Pickering - IJF    Klaus Müller / Watch:

Japanese heavyweight Kageura Kokoro won the final contest of the first Grand Prix in Dusseldorf of the year as he unexpectedly defeat Rio 2016 Olympic silver medallist Harasawa Hisayoshi.

Kageura, 21, of Tokai University, is still relatively unknown on the IJF circuit but introduced himself to a new audience in his first senior competition outside of Asia. The 21-year-old was Tokyo Grand Slam silver medallist in 2016. He is now right in the mix for Japan along with Paris Grand Slam winner and fellow Tokai University member Ojitani Takeshi (JPN), countered a weak uchi-mata attempt from Harasawa for a waza-ari which proved decisive.

In the first semi-final U100kg Olympic champion Lukas Krpalek (CZE) was scored on for the first time today and it was ippon as 21-year-old Tokyo Grand Slam silver medallist Kageura Kokoro (JPN) conjured up a highlight reel moment in golden score. Krpalek moved forward and almost caught his Japanese opponent with a ko-uchi-gari but neither judoka could produce a score in regulation time. After 12 seconds of golden score Kageura got under his Czech opponent to throw with a drop-seoi-nage and a place in the gold medal contest.

In the second semi-final Harasawa bided his time before forcing Asian Championships bronze medallist Iurii Krakovetskii (KGZ) over with an ouchi-gari for ippon in the final 30 seconds.

The first bronze medal went to Baku Grand Slam bronze medallist Bor Barna (HUN) after an epic duel against Krakovetskii. With no scores after four minutes the medal contest continued into golden score for another four minutes before the Hungarian threw with an ippon-seoi-nage for a waza-ari score. The crowd was eight behind both judoka and stayed with them throughout golden score as they received a pleasing score to finish a memorable bout.        

The second bronze medal went to Tashkent Grand Prix winner Yerzhan Shynkeyev (KAZ) as Krpalek endured a frustrating start to life at +100kg on the IJF World Judo Tour. The Czech star looked flatfooted in the early stages and was thrown for a waza-ari with an uchi-mata. Krpalek, who was on a roll in the preliminaries as he won his first three contests on the ground – including a notable dismissal of 180kg World Judo Masters winner Daniel Natea (ROU) – saw the contest get away from him as Shynkeyev did just not enough to hold onto his avtange and not to receive a third shido.

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  • Kokoro Kageura (JPN), Hisayoshi Harasawa (JPN) - Grand Prix Düsseldorf (2017, GER) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation
  • Kokoro Kageura (JPN), Hisayoshi Harasawa (JPN), Barna Bor (HUN), Yerzhan Shynkeyev (KAZ) - Grand Prix Düsseldorf (2017, GER) - © Klaus Müller, Watch:
  • Kokoro Kageura (JPN) - Grand Prix Düsseldorf (2017, GER) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation

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