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Hisayoshi Harasawa selected for Rio Olympics
29 Apr 2016 21:30
Takeshi Ojitani captured his second open-weight National Judo Championship on Friday, while beaten semifinalist Hisayoshi Harasawa was chosen for the +100kg division for this summer’s Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
Ojitani, 23, won his first title against 26-year-old Daiki Kamikawa two years ago and was triumphant again as he scored two waza-ari for an ippon victory in the final.
World No. 2 and defending champion Harasawa, the prime candidate for the men’s heaviest division in Rio before Friday, was defeated by Kamikawa by decision in the semifinals. His rival for Rio, Ryu Shichinohe, was also eliminated in the same stage by ippon by Ojitani. Afterward, the All Japan Judo Federation picked Harasawa, who has won his last five international tournaments and won the All Japan Championships in the beginning of April. Last year he won the Japan Open title.
“The race for the Olympic berth made the two judoka Harasawa and Shichinohe tight. The pressure at the Olympics will be even bigger and I feel a sense of danger that I need to prepare the chosen wrestler properly,” national team coach Kosei Inoue said.
Hisayoshi Harasawa started to shine in 2013 when he won bronze at the Grand Slam in Tokyo. In 2014 he continued with bronze in Tyumen and gold at the Grand Prix in Qingdao. He won in Rome in 2015 and FISU Universiade in Gwangju, Grand Slams of Tyumen, Tokyo in 2015 and Paris Grand Slam in 2015 and 2016.
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Barbara Batizi (HUN)