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Asian final won by Hiroyuki Akimoto

5 Dec 2015 09:25

 by Mark Pickering - IJF    IJF Media Team / International Judo Federation
20151205_Tokyo_73_AN, Changrim (KOR) - AKIMOTO, Hiroyuki (JPN)1

For Japan's Hiroyuki Akimoto the Tokyo Grand Slam was about his last chance to be able to be taken seriously for the Rio Olympic qualification. But last year's Tokyo winner totally grabbed that chance with both hands and prolonged his title in Tokyo.

Winner of the last edition of the Tokyo Grand Slam 2014, Japan's Hiroyuki Akimoto was not among the two top favorites of the competition. But between a sixth and a fourth place at the world ranking list, there is not much space. Yet it is in this mouse hole between him and Nugzari Tatalashvili (GEO), that Akimoto, benefiting from his public support, slipped into to enter again into the final of the event where he was opposed to the top seeded athlete, An Changrim (KOR), winner of the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam, a few weeks ago.

After one minute and thirty seconds, Akimoto took a strong lead with a perfectly executed left handed drop-seoi-nage for waza-ari, as An landed on his side. It is not the last two penalties that were given to Akimoto, one for false attack, one for blocking his opponent, which changed the final results, and Akimoto added one more gold to the Japanese long prize list and a second gold for him in a Grand Slam.

The first bronze medal fight was a match between the two teammates Lasha Shavdatuashvili (GEO), current Olympic Champion in -66kg, and Nugzari Tatalashvili (GEO). In the dying seconds Tatalashvili took the advantage with a counterattack for waza-ari, enough to secure a place on the podium.

In the second bronze medal fight, one could recognize the experienced Rok Draksic (SLO), bronze medal on the occasion of the first edition of the European Games this year, and the tough Musa Mogushkov, who has already won eight Grand Slam medals (2 gold, 3 silver, 3 bronze). If Draksic took quickly the lead with a waza-ari, Mogushkov finally added a ninth Grand Slam medal, after he catapulted his opponent on his back, with force, speed and control with a ko-soto-gake for ippon.

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  • Chang-Rim An (KOR), Hiroyuki Akimoto (JPN) - Grand Slam Tokyo (2015, JPN) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation
  • Hiroyuki Akimoto (JPN), Chang-Rim An (KOR), Musa Mogushkov (RUS), Nugzari Tatalashvili (GEO) - Grand Slam Tokyo (2015, JPN) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation
  • Musa Mogushkov (RUS) - Grand Slam Tokyo (2015, JPN) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation

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