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Highly-impressive Shori Hamada steps up to claim maiden Grand Slam title
3 Dec 2017 10:55
Asian Championships winner Hamada Shori won her first Grand Slam gold medal in a category where Japan have had mixed success and several judoka can lay claim to being their the hosts’ best option at U78kg. Hamada is the latest judoka to cast their name forward as the fighter to call on at this weight as the 27-year-old, who has been infrequently exposed to the IJF World Judo Tour, won all five of her contests by ippon including the final against world number two Guusje Steenhuis (NED).
Hamada struck first with a waza-ari from a tsubame gaeshi and tapped out her Dutch opponent with shime-waza for a home gold medal.
In the first semi-final Hamada tapped out double Olympic medallist and former world champion Audrey Tcheumeo (FRA) just from osaekomi as her kami-shiho-gatame hold was applied so tightly. In the second semi-final Steenhuis bested former world champion Umeki Mami (JPN) with alarming ease by ippon.
The first bronze medal was claimed by Sato Ruika (JPN) who won her 11th Grand Slam medal win a win over teammate Umeki by ippon with 13 seconds left on the clock.
The second bronze medal contest featured Tcheumeo against her colleague Madeleine Malonga (FRA) and the younger judoka committed three errors to receive hansoku-make as her older and wiser teammate was vastly superior.
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