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Naohisa Takato steals the show in Prague

3 Mar 2018 20:05

   IJF Media Team / International Judo Federation

Out of 56 judoka, lightweight Naohisa Takato showed his world class. The double World Champion and Olympic medallist took the gold medal at the European Open in Prague. Takato who trained at the Grand Slam training camp in Duisburg took the opportunity to feel the bathwater U66kg and grabbed the gold. Not entirely expected as he had good opposition.

Takato won his first three contests and showed to exceptional ippons. In the quarterfinal he defeated Dzmitry Shershan (BLR) and didn’t need too much time with Kevin Azema, the Frenchman who is in a good shape. He didn’t have to fight Dzmitry Minkou, a specialist and known for his offensive and onorthodox style, just like Takato. In the final The Japanese stylist overcame Tornike Nagliashvili, Georgian senior champion and just like Takato a promise for the future in his cadet time. Nagloiashvili gave Takato a hard time and the battle took more than six minutes before the current World Champion claimed the victory by wazari.

Vincent Limare, the number nine of the World Championships in Budapest captured gold in the category U60kg. The Frenchman bested Zhaksybek Zhenisbek in the final. Limare also overcame Angelo Pantano in the semi final and European U21 Champion Roy Koffijberg in the quarter final. Home favourite Pavel Petrikov won bronze today after he lost the semi but beat Szabo of Hungary for bronze. Joran Schildermans of Belgium defeated Pantano for bronze, an excellent performance.

Augusto Meloni of Italy won gold for his country. His first at a European Open. Previously he won three European Cups and we know he has the skills but it’s up and down with Augusto, but this time very up. In Prague he was the best of 52 men and had to win six contests. Artem Khomula was defeated by wazari in the final. Khomula is one of those strong Ukrainians is this competitive class. Meloni also bested Guillaume Chain, the Frenchman who won various European Opens and was one of our favourites in advance. He even lost his bronze medal bout against Emanuele Bruno, another Italian fighter. Vadzim Shoka won bronze against Michael Bartusik. Italy even leads the medal tally with these two medals. Italy and Belarus both won two medals among nine winning countries.

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Related Judo Photos

  • Naohisa Takato (JPN) - World Championships Budapest (2017, HUN) - © Oliver Sellner
  • Vincent Limare (FRA) - Grand Slam Paris (2017, FRA) - © Christian Fidler
  • Augusto Meloni (ITA) - Italian Championships Ostia (2018, ITA) - © Franco Di Capua

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