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Takanori Nagase claims second Grand Prix title in a month
Takanori Nagase claims second Grand Prix title in a month
28 Jul 2019 01:10
Mark Pickering - IJF
Tino Maric - CJF / Croatian Judo Federation

Former world champion Nagase Takanori of Japan won his second Grand Prix title in July as he followed up on his Montreal win by going unbeaten in Zagreb. Olympic bronze medallist Nagase bested London 2012 Olympic bronze medallist Antoine Valois-Fortier (CAN) by ippon in the final in a first-time meeting between two of the leading judoka in one of judo’s most fascinating weight categories. The victory for the Japanese also nudged his country up to the top of the medal table.

In the first semi-final world champion Saeid Mollaei (IRI) fell to Valois-Fortier after two minutes of golden score by a waza-ari score as the latter lured in the Iranian and countered him for a place in the final. In the second semi-final Nagase brushed aside former Budapest Grand Prix bronze medallist Robin Pacek (SWE) by the maximum score.

The first bronze medal was won by Budapest Grand Prix winner Tato Grigalashvili (GEO) in just 50 seconds as he subdued Pacek, who initially led by a marginal waza-ari score, by ippon in an all-action contest.                                          

The second bronze medal went to world number one  Mollaei after two-time Grand Slam silver medallist Lee Seungsu (KOR) was penalised three times and was disqualified as the Iranian earned his sixth Grand Prix medal ahead of his title defence next month in Tokyo.