Kodokan Cup shows Japanese back up plan
The Kodokan Cup in Japan might be seen as a minor event, but the quality is finger-licking. Last weekend the Kodokan Cup was traditionally held in Chiba, where in 1995 the World Championships where held. Among the medallists former World Champions in Yuka Nishida and Daiki Kamikawa, Asian Champions such as Hirofumi Yamamoto, Anzu Yamamoto, Hiromi Endo as well as many World Junior Champions like the fore mentioned Nishida, Yamamoto, Yamamoto and Endo but also Sarah Asahina, Nami Inamori, Sho Tateyama, Funa Tonaki and Manami Inoue. All names who could immediately fit into a back up plan.
U48kg World Junior Champion Funa Tonaki won her category this weekend. Yuka Nishida is one of the big examples for the young generation. Nishida prolonged her title as well in the U52kg category. Nishida became World Champion in 2010 in Tokyo and took world silver in 2011. She won the Junior world title in 2004 in Budapest, so more than 10 years earlier than Tonaki.
It was good to see Christa Deguchi back on the podium, the Double World Junior medallist won bronze U57kg won by Megumi Ishikawa, followed by former Paris winner Anzu Yamamoto.
2015 World Junior Champion Nami Nabekura finished second in the category U63 as Aimi Nouchi won her division.
Yoko Ono won the category U70kg. In Europe she showed herself a couple of times successfully as some World Cups. Irina Ike, also not unknown at World Cup level, finished second.
Shori Hamada won bronze at the Grand Slam in Tyumen in 2015. She became Japanese champion U78kg in 2015 and won the Kodokan Cup this weekend.
Heavyweight Sarah Asahina prolonger last year’s heavyweight title and grabbed her third back to back victory in Chiba. She just turned 19 years young, the youngest winner with Aaron Wolf and Aimi Nouchi, all 19.
Lightweight Hirofumi Yamamoto retained his title in Chiba as well by defeating Dai Aoki U60kg.
Fast judoka Sho Tateyama won the category U66kg. He is the 2011 World Junior Championships of Cape Town.
Soichi Hashimoto was expected to win the category U73kg but lost the final against Taro Fujisaka. Yasuhiro Ebi won U81kg against 2011 Universiade champion Tomohiro Kawakami. Kota Otsuji took the title U90kg versus Yusuke Kobayashi.
GP Ulaanbaatar and GP Tashkent winner Aaron Wolf didn’t surprise in Chiba with a gold medal U100kg, he improved his bronze medal of last year.
The sensational 2010 World Champion Daiki Kamikawa, the last one to defeat Teddy Riner, won the Kodokan title in the heavyweight final against Kenta Nishigata.
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