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Expected clash Ono vs Ebinuma in Düsseldorf
20 Feb 2019 09:55
Olympic champion Ono Shohei and three-time world champion Ebinuma Masashi put on a classic at the Osaka Grand Slam in November.
High school colleagues, the pair have had a handful of contests on the Japanese scene since Ebinuma moved up from U66kg to U73kg after winning bronze at Rio 2016, and their first clash on the IJF World Judo Tour was a contest for the ages.
Ono, 27, was the victor on that occasion, avenging an All Japan Championships loss to Ebinuma, 29, from April of last year, and in the post-fight interview spoke of his immense respect for the double Olympic bronze medallist who he referred to as his senpai.
The Japanese stars will both be unseeded in Germany and will be out to steal the show in Düsseldorf just two weeks after Hashimoto Soichi’s big win in Paris.
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Rosvaldas Krusna (LTU)