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Grand Prix newcomer Takeshi Sasaki stuns Olympic champion
26 May 2018 14:30
Sasaki Takeshi of Japan shook up the U81kg category at the Grand Slam in Hohhot by humbling Olympic champion Khasan Khalmurzaev (RUS) after only 65 seconds in the final. Ekaterinburg Grand Slam silver medallist Sasaki debuted on the IJF World Judo Tour at his home Grand Slam in December and in typically Japanese style has been quick to make his presence felt.
Khalmurzaev, who won world bronze last year, was left reeling by the Japanese and will be craving a rematch which will surely come in 2018.
In the first semi-final Khalmurzaev profited from an error-strewn display by Tbilisi Grand Prix silver medallist Anri Egutidze (POR) as the Portuguese was penalised three times to receive hansoku-make. In the second semi-final Sasaki defeated Paris Grand Slam silver medallist Lee Seungsu (KOR) by ippon having led by a waza-ari in a one-sided contest.
The first bronze medal was won by Lee who defeated Junior world champion Matthias Casse (BEL) 17 seconds into golden score by a waza-ari.
The second bronze medal went to four-time Grand Prix winner Alan Khubetsov (RUS) who thwarted Egutidze with neat footwork that even his football counterparts would be proud of. Khubetsov salvaged a bronze medal with an ouchi-ko-soto combination in golden score for safe passage onto the U81kg medal podium.
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Ren Yoshida (JPN)