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Soichi Hashimoto digs deep for Paris win
9 Feb 2019 19:20
Former world champion Hashimoto Soichi (JPN) was back among the winners on the IJF World Judo Tour for the first time since 2017 as he showed his character to grind out a hard-fought win in France. The Ippon Hunter registered a much-needed gold medal by beating Hohhot Grand Prix bronze medallist Tsend-Ochir Tsogtbaatar (MGL) in the U73kg final.
2018 World silver medallist and 2017 World Champion Hashimoto, who failed to hit top spot in his three IJF outings in 2018, threw the former U60kg competitor Tsend-Ochir with a right-sided seoi-otoshi for ippon with 12 seconds left and the relieved Japanese star punched the air with delight and pointed to the immense crowd who applauded the Tokyo 2020 contender.
In the first semi-final Tsend-Ochir beat defending champion Akil Gjakova (KOS) by ippon. In the second semi-final Hashimoto defeated world bronze medallist Hidayat Heydarov (AZE) by two scores to power into the final.
The first bronze medal was won by London 2012 Olympic champion and Rio 2016 Olympic bronze medallist Lasha Shavdatuashvili (GEO) as Heydarov could not compete due to an injury sustained in the previous round. The second and last male bronze medal contest saw Olympic champion Fabio Basile (ITA) surpass Gjakova with a modified kata-guruma for ippon.
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