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Today was the first day of competition on the occasion of the Judo Grand Slam, Tokyo 2012.
Three women's categories (-48kg, -52kg and -57kg) and two men's categories (-60kg and -66kg) were concerned. The opening ceremony was the occasion for the All Japan Judo Federation and the IJF to celebrate the 130th anniversary of the creation of the Judo Kodokan. In 1882, Kano Jigoro created a new discipline that he named judo. Designed to be a popular sport, judo was also an educational tool for the youth. Today, judo has become a universal activity practiced in more than 200 countries (137 countries qualified for the last Olympic Games in London) by more than 20 millions people around the world. On that special occasion, the IJF President, Mr. Marius L. Vizer, presented an original piece of art, painted by the famous French artist, Raymond Poulet, to the All Japan Judo Federation and Kodokan President, Mr. Haruki Uemura.
Women's -48kg: No Surprise for Asami and First Gold for Japan
ASAMI, Haruna (JPN) vs. MESTRE ALVAREZ, Dayaris (CUB)
Strongly supported by her public, ASAMI seemed particularly confident when she started the final. More active than MESTRE ALVAREZ, the Japanese pushed the Cuban to be penalized. After 1 minutes and 40 seconds, the tactic was paying well, as MESTRE ALVAREZ had already received two shido. Showing, once again a very strong skills on ne-waza (groud work), 1:22 before the end of the fight, ASAMI won, with an inextricable sankaku-jime (shime-waza), concluded with a powerful immobilization.
ASAMI, Haruna (JPN) vs. JEONG, Bo Kyeong (KOR)
MESTRE ALVAREZ, Dayaris (CUB) vs. ROSSENEU, Amelie (BEL)
The first semifinal of the day opposed ASAMI Haruna (JPN) and JEONG Bo Kyeong (KOR). Without any surprise Asami, from Japan, qualified for the semifinal after she defeated her teammate, TODA, Miri. To qualify for the semifinal, Jeong defeated Gabriela CHIBANA (BRA). It took a little bit more than one minute for ASAMI to immobilize her opponent and to enter the final. The second semifinal opposed Dayaris MESTRE ALVAREZ (CUB) and Amelie ROSSENEU (BEL). The Cuban eliminated the Japanese, YAMAGISHI Emi, when the Belgium defeated the Korean, CHOI, Soohee. After one minute, the Cuban scored a first yuko with a shoulder movement, followed by a wazaari, with the same technic just before the last minute and a half. Despite the pressure put by ROSSENEU, MESTRE ALVAREZ kept the lead to enter the final. With no surprise, the four athletes qualified for the final block were the four best seeded competitors of the tournament.
Final Results Women's -48kg
1. ASAMI, Haruna (JPN)
2. MESTRE ALVAREZ, Dayaris (CUB)
3. JEONG, Bo Kyeong (KOR)
3. ROSSENEU, Amelie (BEL)
5. CHIBANA, Gabriela (BRA)
5. CHOI, Soohee (KOR)
5. TODA, Miri (JPN)
5. YAMAGISHI, Emi (JPN)
Men's -60kg: From Cadet World Champion to Grand Slam Winner. 2nd Gold for Japan.
ISHIKAWA, Hironori (JPN) vs. TAKATO, Naohisa (JPN)
Back in 2009, TAKATO Naohisa (JPN), was cadet world champion. Today he is the winner of the judo Grand Slam, Tokyo 2012. This is for sure the sign of a fantastic potential an may be a great judo career. To do that, he defeated his teammate, ISHIKAWA Hironori, with a splendid combination of kata-guruma (without leg grab) and kata-guruma concluded with the leg grab for ippon.
"BEST IPPON TOKYO DAY-1" TAKATO, Naohisa (JPN) vs. MILOUS, Sofiane (FRA)
KITADAI, Felipe (BRA) vs. ISHIKAWA, Hironori (JPN)
TAKATO, Naohisa (JPN) vs. MILOUS, Sofiane (FRA)
The first semifinal in the men's -60kg opposed London bronze medallist Felipe KITADAI (BRA) and the 24 years old ISHIKAWA Hironori (JPN), not ranked at the IJF World Ranking List yet. But for sure, his ranking position will change after this Grand Slam. In the semifinal, he concluded a strong attack for no score, with a armlock for ippon. In the second half of the draw, the two seeded fighters, TAKATO Naohisa (JPN) and Sofiane MILOUS (FRA) reached the final block without facing big difficulties. One minute before the end of the fight, TAKATO defeated MILOUS, with a superb and aerial sode-tsuri-komi-goshi for ippon.
Final Results Men's -60kg
1. TAKATO, Naohisa (JPN)
2. ISHIKAWA, Hironori (JPN)
3. KITADAI, Felipe (BRA)
3. MILOUS, Sofiane (FRA)
5. PETRIKOV, Pavel (CZE)
5. SHISHIME, Toru (JPN)
5. TELMANOV, Askhat (KAZ)
5. UROZBOEV, Diyorbek (UZB)
Women's -52kg: HASHIMOTO in Gold and Japan Again
HASHIMOTO, Yuki (JPN) vs. TANIMOTO, Nodoka (JPN)
After a little bit more than one minute, HASHIMOTO scored a first yuko (uchi-mata), which started inside the fighting area and was concluded outside, but was still valid. Just before the half of the fight, HASHIMOTO, scored again, but this time waza-ari, right in the middle of the tatami. The end of the combat was slightly more hectic for her, as TANIMOTO looked more fresh than her, but her two scores were finally strong enough to give her the victory and a third gold medal for Japan.
MIYAKAWA, Takumi (JPN) vs. HASHIMOTO, Yuki (JPN)
BERMOY ACOSTA, Yanet (CUB) vs. TANIMOTO, Nodoka (JPN)
The first main surprise of the day came from MIYAKAWA Takumi (JPN), only ranked 25th in the world, who sent back home the world number 3, Erika MIRANDA (BRA), in the quarterfinal. In the pool B, HASHIMOTO Yuki (JPN) qualified for the semifinal to face her teammate, MIYAKAWA. During the semifinal, HASHIMOTO won by ippon (osae-komi - immobilization), in the golden score. The second surprise of the category was the defeat of the Belgium, Ilse HEYLEN, who after a first win, lost against TANIMOTO Nodoka (JPN), who qualified for the semifinal, where she faced the Cuban, Yanet BERMOY ACOSTA (CUB), who went through the preliminaries quite easily. None of the fighters being able to score anything throughout the semifinal, the final decision was made by the referees, who unanimously designated TANIMOTO as the winner.
Final Results Women's -52kg
1. HASHIMOTO, Yuki (JPN)
2. TANIMOTO, Nodoka (JPN)
3. BERMOY ACOSTA, Yanet (CUB)
3. MIYAKAWA, Takumi (JPN)
5. BONNA, Penelope (FRA)
5. HEYLEN, Ilse (BEL)
5. MIRANDA, Erika (BRA)
5. VALEMTIM, Eleudis (BRA)
Men's -66kg: the Best Technician, MORISHITA, Wins Gold for Japan
MORISHITA, Jumpei (JPN) vs. LAROSE, David (FRA)
After only 17 seconds, MORISHITA launched a first uchi-mata, which was first evaluated at the level of a waza-ari, but then cancelled. It was then the turn of Larose to be dangerous with one of his technic, but for no score. Again, the Japanese propelled his opponent high in the sky of the stadium, but Larose landed on his stomach for no score. The next attack seemed to be the good one for MORISHITA, but once again, LAROSE escaped… it was the last chance for Larose. For the fourth time, MORISHITA produced his effort and launched an academic uchi-mata, the French landing on his back, with, force, speed and control… the perfect ippon and the fourth victory of the day for Japan.
PULYAEV, Mikhail (RUS) vs. MORISHITA, Jumpei (JPN)
LAROSE, David (FRA) vs. TAKAJO, Tomofumi (JPN)
Mikhail PULYAEV (RUS) was not the best seeded athlete of the category, but he successively eliminated YOSHIDA Yuito (JPN) and CHO Jun-Ho (KOR) to enter the final block against MORISHITA Jumpei (JPN), who stopped the -60kg world champion, Rishod SOBIROV (UZB) with a superb ippon on the edge of the fighting area. Rishid Sobirov had already eliminated the two-times world champion, Leandro CUNHA, earlier during the competition. Just before the last three minutes of the semifinal, the Japanese scored a first yuko with uchi-mata. This first score seemed to stop PULYAEV. Suddenly, the Russian looked incapable of doing anything 'dangerous' for his opponent, who finally immobilized him for ippon. In the second half of the draw, the two top seeded athletes, David LAROSE (FRA) and TAKAJO Tomofumi (JPN) could make it through the preliminaries. They respectively defeated, CHO Jun Hyun (KOR) and FUKUOKA Masaaki (JPN) for the French, and VAN GANSBEKE Kenneth (BEL) and URIARTE Sugoi (ESP) for the Japanese. LAROSE, who was totally dominated by TAKAJO during most of the semifinal, launched, in the last minute, a surprising ko-uchi-gari for ippon, giving him a second chance to win a Grand Slam title in 2012, after his victory in Paris, last February.
Final Results Men's -66kg
1. MORISHITA, Jumpei (JPN)
2. LAROSE, David (FRA)
3. PULYAEV, Mikhail (RUS)
3. TAKAJO, Tomofumi (JPN)
5. CHO, Jun-Ho (KOR)
5. FUKUOKA, Masaaki (JPN)
5. SOBIROV, Rishod (UZB)
5. URIARTE, Sugoi (ESP)
Women's -57kg: 2 Penalties and the Fifth Gold Medal for Japan.
YAMAMOTO, Anzu (JPN) vs. HIRAI, Nozomi (JPN)
The last final of the day was 100% Japanese. After the 5 minutes of regular time, none of the fighters could take the advantage over their opponent. It was time for the golden score. But as HIRAI already received a penalty during the first five minutes, the second that she got during the extra-time, gave the victory to YAMAMOTO and a fifth gold medal to Japan.
PAVIA, Automne (FRA) vs. YAMAMOTO, Anzu (JPN)
LIEN, Chen-Ling (TPE) vs. HIRAI, Nozomi (JPN)
In the women's -57kg, the only top seeded athlete to go through the preliminaries was Automne PAVIA (FRA), Bronze medallist on the occasion of the last London Olympic Games. In the semifinal, she was opposed to the Japanese, YAMAMOTO Anzu, who defeated Emma BARKELING (SWE) during her first round. Always first to grab the judogi of her opponent, the French seemed to control the fight, but the attacks of her opponent, even if they were less numerous, were more precise and dangerous. Once again, PAVIA tried to use her tall size (compared to the Japanese) to launch uchi-mata, but YAMAMOTO, who felt the attack coming, counter attacked with a superb left handed arai-goshi for ippon. In the second half of the draw, it is the world number 25, LIEN Chen-Ling (TPE) who came out of the preliminaries. She faced HIRAI Nozomi (JPN), who earlier during the day, eliminated Sabrina FILZMOSER, from Austria. HIRAI was the first one to score, waza-ari, with an almost perfectly executed swiping technic, de-achi-barai. Only a bit of control was missing at the conclusion of the technic. This waza-ari opened the doors of the final to HIRAI.
Final Results Women's -57kg
1. YAMAMOTO, Anzu (JPN)
2. HIRAI, Nozomi (JPN)
3. LIEN, Chen-Ling (TPE)
3. PAVIA, Automne (FRA)
5. BARKELING, Emma (SWE)
5. PERENC, Agata (POL)
5. TREMBLAY, Stefanie (CAN)
5. WAECHTER, Viola (GER)