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Hashiguchi Yuuki continues way up after victory in Zagreb

29 Sep 2017 19:10

   Christian Fidler

Hashiguchi Yuuki won his second Grand Prix in his career. In Zagreb he won the Grand in Croatia after he defeated Portuguese Sergiu Oleinic in the final. Hashiguuchi, a former World Champion juniors, not far from Zagreb in Ljubljana proved to be ready for senior level victories again.

After a little more than thirty seconds in the final U66kg, Hashiguchi executed a perfect o-uchi-gari in a pure Japanese style to score a first waza-ari. Exactly one minute before the end of the match, the Japanese suddenly dropped on his knees under Oleinic's centre of gravity for a second clear waza-ari as the Portuguese could avoid landing flat on his back. Hashiguchi just had to control with a strong kumikata (grip) to win a second gold medal in a Grand Prix, and the second gold for Japan on the occasion of this first day of competition in Zagreb. Hashiguchi won the Grand Prix of Astana in 2014  and won silver last year at the Grand Slam in Tokyo.

The second Portuguese competitor Joao Crisostomo qualified for the first bronze medal contest against Sinan Sandal (TUR), who confirmed the good shape of the Turkish delegation here in Zagreb. Sandal scored a first waza-ari after a few seconds with a drop-seoi-nage. Twenty seconds before the end of the match, Sandal scored a second waza-ari as Crisostomo tried to score with a ko-soto-gake that was countered by the Turkish to win a second medal for his delegation.

The second bronze medal match saw Matteo Medves (ITA) opposed to Anzaur Ardanov (RUS). After one minute and a half, Ardanov was penalised a first time for passivity but it was then the turn of Medves to receive a shido for stepping out of the tatami. The two athletes entered the final minute with only shidos to the scoreboard when Medves engaged a powerful harai-makikomi for waza-ari to take a strong lead and to put an option on the medal. A few seconds were left and the Italian had just to control, which he perfectly did to win his first medal on the occasion of a Grand Prix.

Hashiguuchi now moves up in the World Ranking passing Takajo Tomofumi and with Takaichi Kengo in his back as fourth choice after World Champion Abe Hifumi the road is still long for Tokyo 2020.

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  • Yuuki Hashiguchi (JPN) - Grand Prix Zagreb (2017, CRO) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation
  • Sergiu Oleinic (POR), Yuuki Hashiguchi (JPN), Sinan Sandal (TUR), Anzaur Ardanov (RUS) - Grand Prix Zagreb (2017, CRO) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation
  • Sinan Sandal (TUR) - Grand Prix Zagreb (2017, CRO) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation

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