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An Changrim beats returning world champion Hashimoto in a classic
26 May 2018 14:25
Korean former World Champion An Changrim won his third Grand Prix gold at the expense of returning world champion Hashimoto Soichi of Japan. The two U73kg standouts have a rivalry which started in Japan at the All Japan Championships as World bronze medallist An qualifies for both countries and decided to compete for South Korea.
One-time Grand Prix winner Hashimoto was unbeaten from early 2016 to the end of 2017 as he won 35 contests in a row in a run which turned him into a star in the sport but he met his match today as An recorded one of the biggest wins of his career. World number one and AN were even in regulation time and produced far better judo in golden score. AN extended his head-to-head (4:2) winning run over Hashimoto with a seoi-nage after four minutes and seven seconds for a waza-ari score. Hashimoto was rusty all day long and you could see that he was making his first start on IJF World Judo Tour this year despite winning the All Japan Championships in April.
In the first semi-final Hashimoto put on a throwing clinic against Agadir Grand Prix bronze medallist Anthony Zingg (GER) as he won by ippon having launched the German multiple times. In the second semi-final An booked a place in the final after Ekaterinburg Grand Slam winner Tsend-Ochir Tsogtbaatar (MGL) was penalised three times.
The first bronze medal was won by Tsend-Ochir who won a riveting derby contest against former -66kg judoka Qing Daga (CHN). Rio 2016 Olympian in the -60kg category, Tsend-Ochir was more positive and produced a waza-ari with six seconds left as the crowd lapped up the back-and-forth action. A yoko-tomoe-nage effort from the young Mongolian subdued his opponent to spare both judoka from golden score.
The second bronze medal went to Zingg who dispatched Agadir Grand Prix silver medallist Musa Mogushkov (RUS) with aplomb in golden score. Germany’s highlight reel regular Zingg launched for an emphatic osoto-gari after an additional 15 seconds to win by ippon.
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Luca Polgár (HUN)