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Australia’s new contender Kayhan Ozcicek-Takagi aims for historic title
24 Feb 2019 01:05
Former All Japan Championships winner and long-time Japan international Kayhan Ozcicek-Takagi (AUS) started his year with a historic medal for Australia at the season-opening Tel Aviv Grand Prix. Australia-born Ozcicek-Takagi, 28, a former Kodokan Cup and Asian Championships gold medallist.
Takagi became the first male Australian judoka to win an IJF World Judo Tour medal when he brushed aside Ramazan Malsuigenov (RUS) with his trademark o-soto-gari in Israel in January.
The next step for the Tokyo 2020 hope will be to end his country’s wait for a male victory on the major stage since the IJF World Judo Tour was founded in 2009. Ozcicek-Takagi has already impressed since his recent change of allegiance and with more competitions, more international training camps and more IJF medals to boost his ranking, and in turn to eventually offer a more favourable draw, IJF gold looks a realistic possibility and could come sooner than people expect.
The JRA company team member, who still resides in Tokyo, is now ranked number 69 in the world still has a long road ahead of him to qualify for the Olympics but can take another significant stride towards that goal when he competes on Sunday in the U100kg category.
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