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Japanese champion Soichi Hashimoto wins Qingdao title
21 Nov 2015 12:55
Japanese Soichi Hashimoto is another alternative U73kg. Hashimoto won the final of the Qingdao Grand Prix in style. Although he was not too familiar yet, he is in a great shape given his Kodokan Cup victory recently and now the Japanese champion followed up with an international victory in Qingdao.
With 37 competitors engaged, the U73kg weight category was again the second most numerous of the competition. World number one and winner of the Baku Grand Slam, this year, Rustam Orujov (AZE), could again enter the final of a major IJF event after having successively defeated Kiyoshi Uematsu (ESP), Sai Yinjirigala (CHN), Dastan Ykybayev (KAZ) and the ‘veteran’ Dirk Van Tichelt (BEL), whose best season was in 2013 when he won in Moscow (Grand Slam) and Miami (Grand Prix) just before taking a superb bronze medal at the World Championships. In the final the Azeri was opposed to Hashimoto Soichi (JPN), who was not present in the top eight athletes today in China. In a pure Japanese style, Hashimoto rapidly destroyed Orujov’s dream to win gold tonight in Qingdao. With an extraordinary tai-otoshi and with a touch of a standing-morote-seoi-nage, he propelled the Azeri into the air for a heavy landing on his back for ippon.
The first bronze medal fight opposed the two Uzbek competitors Mirali Sharipov and Giyosjon Boboyev. The epic struggle was clearly won by Mirali Sharipov, who counterattacked his opponent for ippon.
In the second bronze medal contest, the North Korean Kim Chol Gwang faced 2012 Qingdao winner Dirk Van Tichelt (BEL). The Belgium seemed to calmly control the fight and even if after two minutes and a half nothing was scored yet, he was obviously the strongest of the two. May be a little too much, when he launched a weak o-uchi-gari, which was immediately countered by Kim for ippon and a first medal on the IJF circuit for the North Korean.
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Andres Sanchez (SUI)