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ANTON GEESINK: Dominating Dutch Champion from the 1950's

Antonius "Anton" Johannes Geesink was born on April 6, 1934 in Utrecht, in the Netherlands. He is a Dutch 10th dan judoka. He is a two time World champion, 1961 and 1965, and Olympic Gold
Medalist in 1964. He was 6' 7" tall and at one time weighed 320 pounds.

Anton Geesink first participated in the European Championships in 1951, and placed second in his category. The following year, he won his first European title. Until 1967, 20 more European
titles would follow.

At the 1961 World Championships, Geesink became World Champion in the open class, defeating the Japanese, who had won all World Championship titles up to that point.

Judo debuted as an official sport at the 1964 Summer Olympics, which were held in the sports home country, Japan. Although Japan dominated 3 of the 4 weight divisions, the light, middle and
heavy, Anton Geesink won the final of the open weight division,
defeating Akio Kaminaga before 15,000 people at Nippon Budokan Hall and
then he defeated Akio Kaminaga again.

After winning the 1965 World Championships and a last European title in 1967, Geesink quit competitive judo at the age of 33.

Anton Geesink is the only living 10th dan grade kodansha recognized by the IJF. There are three 10th dan kodanshas recognized by Kodokan: Toshiro Daigo, Ichiro Abe and Yoshimi Osawa.

Information provided by www.usajudo.com

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