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Japan’s Maruyama records his second Grand Prix win
25 May 2018 16:15
Two-time Grand Slam silver medallist Maruyama Joshiro struck Grand Prix gold in Hohhot for the second time as he went unbeaten in the U66kg category. Three-time world silver medallist Mikhail Puliaev (RUS) offered a stern challenge for the Japan in a first time meeting on the IJF World Judo Tour.
Maruyama is a protégé of 1984 Olympic champion Hosokawa Shinji at Tenri University where he trains alongside his brother Maruyama Goki and Olympic champion Ono Shohei. A third shido for Puliaev handed the victory to his adversary as Japan finished the opening day with three gold medals.
In the first semi-final Maruyama defeated three-time Grand Prix winner Abdula Abdulzhalilov (RUS) by a waza-ari to march into the final after a blistering opening session. In the second semi-final Paris Grand Slam bronze medallist Sebastian Seidl (GER) was disqualified for three shidos against three-time world silver medallist Mikhail Puliaev (RUS).
The first bronze medal was won by Olympic silver medallist and former world champion An Baul (KOR) as Seidl finished in fifth-place. An lost out to Maruyama in the quarters in the reverse outcome of their Paris Grand Slam final – with a majestic sode-tsurikomi-goshi – but returned to winning ways in the final block as his German rival picked up a third and final shido in golden score.
The second bronze medal went to World Judo Masters silver medallist Yeldos Zhumakanov (KAZ) who edged out three-time Grand Prix winner Abdula Abdulzhalilov (RUS) to win Kazakhstan’s third medal on day one.
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