Takanori NAGASE is the new World Champion for men U81kg and the first Japanese to take the world title for Japan in this weight class. The Japanese defeated Loic Pietri in the final with a sankaku. After ninety seconds he got all chances to work on his juji gatame and made a transition to oseikomi and sankaku. Although it wasn’t that solid Pietri look devastated in that situation. Pietri won all colours but would have done everything to regain the second world title. Nagase will go Rio de Janeiro as world champion and keep the title for two years until Budapest will organise the worlds.
The last Japanese Olympic champion was Makoto Takimoto in 2000 in Sydney. This world title is a leap a medal. Most pre Olympic year World Champions won a medal at the next Olympics.
Nagase defeated Avtandil Tchrikishvili in the semi final, he had already beaten the Georgian 2014 World Champion a few times and found the key to open the secrets of Tchrikishvili. But he also found the key to defeat French Loic Pietri. Takanori Nagase won a heavy pool where Korean Lee was sent to the repechage from the quarter final. Lee defeated Brazilian double Olympic and World medallist Leandro Guilheiro. Nagase impressed with good judo but couldn’t complain about this draw.
Pietri look empty after his semi final with Canadian Antoine Valois Fortier. Although he was in advance with the previous matches in his mind, it did cost him energy to reach the final. Valois Fortier was good today and showed some awesome judo including good groundwork. He won bronze after all and remained on the stage compared to last year. As a matter of fact not much was a surprise today. Canadian Antoine Valois-Fortier was last year’s finalist, he won the quarter final easily against Duminica of Moldova with an armlock and he survived the strong Alexander Wieczerzak who prevent a Pan American battle for VF with Travis Stevens. For bronze he overcame the Korean Lee Seung-Su who lost to Nagase in the quarter final but defeated Maresch. The German finished seventh but his best match was against Tchrikishvili giving the Georgian a really hard time. Tchrikishvili wasn’t interested in the bronze medal bout. Almost uninspired he went into the match with the hungry Victor Penalber of Brazil. The Brazilian team really needed a success and a medal in the men’s division would be a great success. After two penalties for Tchrikishvili Penalber smelled blood and didn’t even have to fight too much to keep Tchrikishvili of his back. Penalber won bronze and follows up a Brazilian tradition in this weight category where Tiago Camilo won the world title in 2007 and Leandro Guilheiro won silver in 2010 and bronze in 2011. Guilheiro reached the 1/8 final today but was defeated by Korean Lee. Valeriu Duminica finished seventh after a good day and showed that Moldova is working on a new group of talents.
Speaking about talent, Takanori Nagase showed his skills in May this year at the IJF Masters, it was a clear sign defeating European champion Nifontov, Toma, Valois-Fortier and Khalmurzaev while he had beaten Tchrikishvili three times, now four. The stars were with him and he turned into a star since today.