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Japan strongest team in all age categories
Japan strongest team in all age categories
20 Oct 2019 20:45
Nicolas Messner - IJF

Japan and Georgia were the best two nations at the individual tournament of the World Junior Championships. Japan entered the final by defeating France on a score of 4 wins to 2 in the semifinal, Georgia failed to confirm its status of nation number 2 of the championships.

It must be said that in the semifinals the Georgians found on their road a Russian team full of confidence. After the first six bouts, both teams were tied with a perfect 3 wins each. The golden score match was drawn and it was again the contest between the U90kg Junior World Champion, Lasha Bekauri (GEO) and Mansur Lorsanov (RUS).

Already beaten after an epic fight a few minutes before, Bekauri returned to the tatami, determined to show that he was the strongest. But totally exhausted after his individual tournament and the first rounds of the team competition, the champion had to bow down again, to the delight of the Russians and their supporters.

The first match of the final opposed Tsukamoto Ryo (JPN) and Makhmadbek Makhmadbekov in men's -73kg. As the athletes entered the last minutes, Tsukamoto was disqualified with three shidos for passivity offering the first point to Russia.

In the second contest, in women's -70kg Asahi Mami (JPN) faced Dali Liluashvili (RUS). The Japanese quickly scored a first waza-ari and a few sequences later scored a beautiful left-handed uchi-mata for ippon. 1-1

For the third match in men's -90kg Mashiyama Kosuke (JPN) faced Mansur Lorsanov (RUS) and both men could not decide the winner during the first four minutes. It is only in golden score that Mashiyama could counter Lorsanov's uchi-mata attempt to score a ippon for the second point for Japan. Japan 2 - Russia 1

The +70kg contest between Takahashi Ruri (JPN) and Daria Vladimirova (RUS) started with two sequences on the floor, Takahashi immobilizing her opponent but only for handful of seconds, not enough to score. The third attempt was the good one and Takahashi won with an immobilization. Japan 3 - Russia 1

In what could be the last match of the day, in men's +90kg, Matsumura Sosuke (JPN) met Valeriy Endovitskiy (RUS). But it is the Russian who added one point to his team with an opportunist ko-uchi-gari for ippon. Japan 3 - Russia 2.

The last contest of the day show the -57kg, Kawada Ayumi (JPN) and Daria Kashina (RUS) facing to award the last point. If it was for Japan, that would mean victory, if for Russia, it would mean an extra-golden score, but Kawada scored twice with superb shoulder movements to add one more team world title for Japan. Final score: Japan 4 - Russia 2.

With this victory, Japan concludes a successful year when it comes to team events, having won the world title in Tokyo with the seniors, in Astana with the cadets and now in Marrakech with the juniors. Will Japan be able to win the first Olympic team event? This is a question that can still not be answered. Beyond the results, several countries seem to be in a position to also cause the surprise.

The first bronze medal contest opposed Team Germany and Team Georgia. After the first five matches, Georgia won by 4 victories to 1.

The second bronze medal contest opposed Team Brazil and Team France. The match remained undecided until the last match, since the victory was determined on the contest between Vitoria Andrade (BRA) and Ophelie Vellozzi (FRA), the latter winning by penalties.