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Funa Tonaki opens Japans gold medal rush
23 Nov 2018 14:00
Japanese lightweight Tonaki Funa struck gold at home in the first final at the Osaka Grand Slam 2018. Former world champion Munkhbat Urantsetseg (MGL) showed off her ne-waza prowess in the earlier rounds but made a mistake on the ground in the final when she miscalculated a turnover and World Championships silver medallist Tonaki took full advantage as she applied a mune-gatame for 20 seconds to take gold in less than a minute.
The win provided Tonaki with her second Grand Slam title and gave her the edge of Munkhbat in their head-to-head series which now stands at 4:3 in the favour of the former owner of the red backpatch in the U48kg category.
In the first semi-final Munkhbat held down Paris Grand Slam silver medallist Kang Yujeong (KOR) for 10 seconds to score her second waza-ari. The Mongolian led by a waza-ari score and then put on a ne-waza clinic which culminated with osaekomi in the favour of Munkhbat. In the second semi-final Tonaki beat teammate and former World Judo Masters winner Endo Hiromi (JPN) who was penalised with her third shido for passivity with one second left on the clock.
The first bronze medal contest was won by Endo who surged past Tbilisi Grand Prix bronze medallist Melanie Clement (FRA) in 44 seconds. Two-time Grand Slam bronze medallist Clement did not get a look in as Endo, who will remain third choice after today’s results, threw for a waza-ari and wrapped up her victory on the ground with osaekomi-waza for 10 seconds.
The second bronze medal was won by Olympic bronze medallist and former world champion Kondo Ami (JPN) who bested Kang. The Japanese judoka won on shidos in golden score after Kang was penalised with her third penalty for passivity in a result which will not help the 2014 world champion who remains behind Tonaki in the eyes of the Japanese.
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