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Sunday, 07 December 2014
By Emily Goddard
Olympic champion Kayla Harrison claimed gold in the women's under 78kg today as the Tokyo Grand Slam came to a close to round off this year's World Judo Tour.
The American London 2012 gold medallist and a bronze medal winner at this year's World Championships in Chelyabinsk, Russia successfully took on home athlete Sato Ruika to claim the title.
"It's a good way to end the year if you ask me," Harrison said.
"I knew I wanted to end the year on a high note and get ready for the last big push for Rio (2016 Olympic Games)."
The first bronze medal in the weight class went to Slovenian world bronze medallist Anamari Velenšek, while the second went to home athlete Hamada Shori.
The women's over 78kg competition saw and all-Japanese final, with Inamori Nami and Asahina Sarah going head to head for the title.
It was Inamori who ultimately walked away with the gold, as World Championships bronze medallist Megumi Tachimoto of Japan and Russian Ksenia Chibisova claimed the bronze medals with victories over Cuban Olympic and world champion Idalys Ortiz and home athlete Kanae Yamabe respectively.
Gwak Dong Han defeated Daiki Nishiyama for the under 90kg gold medal ©IJF
The men's competitions on this final day of the Tokyo Grand Slam saw South Korea's Gwak Dong Han and Japanese two-time World Championships silver medallist Daiki Nishiyama meeting in the under 90kg final.
Gwak claimed the gold medal, while home athlete Mashu Baker and Gwak's compatriot Jae Yun Kim secured the bronze medals.
The under 100kg final witnessed a shock defeat of top seeded Frenchman Cyrille Maret at the hands of South Korean Cho Guham, with the bronze medals going to Dutch Olympic, world and European medallist Henk Grol and Ukraine's Artem Bloshenko.
Finally, the men's over 100kg gold went to Russian Renat Saidov thanks to his defeat of Georgian Levani Matiashvili.
The two bronze medals were claimed by two home athletes in the form of Keita Iwao and Takeshi Ojitani.
The next Judo Grand Prix will take place next February in Düsseldorf.