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Japans pulls back 20 of 28 athletes for Baku Grand Slam
6 May 2019 11:20
The line-up of the Japanese team for the Grand Slam in Baku looked so good but the Federation has withdrawn 20 of their 28 athletes and will now only send 8 athletes. Only a soft battle between Shoichiro Mukai vs Sanshiro Murai is left over among the male participants U90kg. Still the women's teams looks pretty competitive, but the big clashes are vanished.
Last week we reported an amazing line-up with some great clashes from a team that was even stronger than World Championships level.
In the women’s team Paris winner Ami Kondo will be starting in Baku. 2017 World Champ Ai Shishime is selected U52kg. World Champion Tsukasa Yoshida will fight in Baku as well as the strong Miku Tashiro. Double World Champion Chizuru Arai will test her strength in Azerbaijan as well as World CHampion Shori Hamada. Still not bad but NONE of these supposed clashes are not scheduled anymore in Baku.
Ono vs Hashimoto
The U73kg would obviously be one of the most interesting clashes as many judo fans around the world want to see a match between double world champion Soichi Hashimoto and current Olympic Champion Shohei Ono who defeated stylist Masashi Ebinuma in the final of the Japanese Championships and in Düsseldorfs Grand Slam. We will now have to wait for the worlds.
Maruyama vs Abe
Also in the men’s U60kg and U66kg juicy double positions were scheduled in Baku with Nagayama and Takato and U66kg Maruyama and Abe. Maruyama defeated the World Champion a few times now and will now perhaps showcase a total take-over at the Worlds in Tokyo.
All Japan champion Aaron Wolf would have been present U100kg together with Düsseldorf winner Kentaro Iida. Baku was about to give a good indication of the strength of Japan in advance of the World Championships, but we will have to keep outr patience until the World Championships in Tokyo.
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