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Kaihan Takagi to return to IJF duty under Australian flag
23 Jan 2019 07:40
Former All Japan Championships winner Kaihan Takagi will make his IJF debut for Australia in Tel Aviv. The 28-year-old, who is now going by the name Kayhan Ozcicek-Takagi, enjoyed domestic success while part of the Japanese setup and a sprinkling of standout results in continental events.
The o-soto-gari specialist saw his opportunities limited due to the abundance of riches Japan are blessed with in the -100kg category and has switched nations in order to realise his ambition of going to the Olympic Games.
Ozcicek-Takagi was born in Darlinghurst, which is a suburb of Sydney, and has an Australian passport from his mother’s side of his family. He still lives in Tokyo where he competes for his company team, JRA, and makes regular trips to Australia for training as he continues to adapt to a new language and working alongside his new teammates.
Despite some periods of inactivity, the Tokyo 2020 hopeful has won the Kodokan Cup (2014), All Japan Championships (2015) and the Asian Championships (2015).
Australia’s new man, who won their December Athlete of The Month Award, holds wins over former world champions Maxim Rakov (KAZ), Luciano Correa (BRA) and Haga Ryunosuke (JPN) as well as double Olympic medallist Naidan Tuvshinbayar (MGL). Takagi will fight Belarussian Mikita Svyrid in his first contest. Sviryd took the silver at the last Grand Prix of 2018 in The Hague.
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