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Japanese teenager Kentaro Iida controls Rio 2016 Olympic medallist Maret
12 Feb 2017 21:45
Japanese youngster Kentaro Iida impressed for Japan as he had the measure of Rio 2016 Olympic bronze medallist Cyrille Maret of France, a three-time Paris winner, with a masterful display beyond his years. Iida, who has been dubbed the ‘new Inoue’, did perform a breathtaking uchi-mata in the final to give more credibility to that claim, as his beautiful waza-ari was the only score of the contest.
Iida, Tokyo Grand Slam bronze medallist and just 18, can now expect a call-up for the Japanese worlds team in August and may add some seasoning to his skills with domestic and international engagements this spring. Maret is still on the best medal run of his career and will be eying a rematch against Japan’s new starlet at the earliest opportunity.
In the first semi-final Jorge Fonseca (POR) was surprised by new boy Iida Kentaro who threw the Portuguese powerhouse – who had lit up the preliminary rounds – with an uchi-mata out of nowhere for ippon with 24 seconds remaining having trailed to a waza-ari.
In the second semi-final Maret beat Korrel by a waza-ari after four minutes to bring the Bercy crowd to their feet.
The first bronze medal was won by -100kg newcomer Varlam Liparteliani (GEO) who made a confident start to life in the heavier weight category with a determined display that ended with a narrow win over Michael Korrel (NED) by a waza-ari.
The second bronze medal went to Jorge Fonseca (POR) who threw for a waza-ari before holding down Grigori Minaskin (EST) for 20 seconds and ippon.
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