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Hiroyuki Akimoto captures third victory in Paris

17 Oct 2015 18:35

 by Mark Pickering - IJF    Klaus Müller / Watch:
20151017_ParisGS_KM_Hiroyuki Akimoto (JPN)

In the final of the Grand Slam in Paris U73kg top seeded Rustam Orujov of Azerbaijan qualified, already sure to add some precious points to retain his world number one position on the ranking list. The presence in the final of Japanese Akimoto Hiroyuki was more of a surprise as he was not among the top eight of the category, although he had won the Grand Slam in Paris two times before.

But after a few seconds the Japanese already took the lead with a superb yoko-tomoe-nage for waza-ari. But that was not enough, and Akimoto added a fourth Grand Slam gold medal to his prize list after he scored a last ditch morote-seoi-nage for ippon this time.

In the first semi-final Orujov denied Sun Shuai of China a place in the final as the Azeri progressed by ippon while in the second semi-final Akimoto beat Slovenian Rok Draksic by the same margin.

The first bronze medal was won by German Igor Wandtke who grows in stature with every outing and on this occasion sealed a place on the podium at the expense of out-of-form former European champion Draksic by ippon. The second bronze medal went to European Games winner Sagi Muki (ISR) who defeated losing semi-finalist SUN after 90 seconds to win his country’s third medal in Paris.

Akimoto is the only winner in Paris who won for the third time and he mingles with the best winners ever. Obviously Lucie Decosse (7) and Celine Lebrun and Teddy Riner (both 6) are still leading.

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  • Hiroyuki Akimoto (JPN) - Grand Slam Paris (2015, FRA) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation
  • Rustam Orujov (AZE), Hiroyuki Akimoto (JPN), Igor Wandtke (GER), Sagi Muki (ISR) - Grand Slam Paris (2015, FRA) - © Klaus Müller, Watch:
  • Igor Wandtke (GER) - Grand Slam Paris (2015, FRA) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation

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