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Fujiwara Sotaro third teen to win the title in Paris
11 Feb 2018 18:30
Youngster Fujiwara Sotaro of Japan struck in the U81kg category as the 19-year-old won his first major honour on the IJF World Judo Tour in only his second Grand Slam appearance and first outside of Japan. While his opponent, world number 57 Lee, was the aggressor from the outset the Japanese newcomer settled into his rhythm and threw with a left-sided uchi-mata for ippon.
In the first semi-final Antoine Valois-Fortier of Canada was thrown with a tai-otoshi for ippon after 93 seconds of added time by Fujiwara. In the end London 2012 Olympic bronze medallist Valois-Fortier finished fifth.
In the second semi-final Lee launched former Ulaanbaatar Grand Prix silver medallist Jaromir Musil (CZE) with a picturesque ippon seoi-nage for the maximum score.
The first bronze medal was clinched by 2017 Paris Grand Slam winner Frank De Wit (NED) who achieved back-to-back podiums in the French capital by throwing Musil with an osoto-gari for ippon with only six seconds left on the clock.
The second bronze medal was won by former European bronze medallist Nugzari Tatalashvili (GEO) who shaded Valois-Fortier by a waza-ari in golden score to earn his result in his new category since moving up from U73kg in 2017.
Asian Championships winner Fujiwara was the third teen this weekend who won gold in Paris. Daria Bilodid and Uta Abe are both 17, Fujiwara 19.
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