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Naohisa Takato and Hifumi Abe qualified to defend World titles in Baku
5 Jan 2018 16:05
Naohisa Takato and Hifumi Abe don’t have to worry anymore about their qualification for the World Championships this year in Baku. Both men became World Champion and both won the Grand Slam in Tokyo. New in the Japanese qualification rules is, if you won both, you are automatically qualified for the forthcoming World Championships. Both are also World Ranking leader.
The World Championships will be held in Baku in September of this year and will host the spectacular World Champions. However those are the only two Japanese fighters who qualified directly as Soichi Hashimoto was caught by surprise by Arata Tatsukawa. So Hashimoto will have to qualify himself via the All Japan Championships in April. His IJF Masters victory didn’t help him.
World Champion Funa Tonaki U48kg) and Ai Shishime (U52kg) also finished with bronze early December while Chizuru Arai (U70kg) captured silver due to her loss against Yoko Ono.
The Japanese team will traditionally participate at the Grand Slam in Paris and Düsseldorf, which was now upgraded Grand Slam level.
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Peter Kovar (SWE)
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