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Japan and France heading for Grand Final at Mixed Team event
1 Sep 2019 12:30
The eighth and final day of the World Judo Championships Tokyo 2019 has belonged to the team event and four of judo's powerhouse nations are still standing at the close of the preliminary session.
South Korea defeated the Netherlands 4:3 in an epic match before being whitewashed 4-0 by defending champions, favourites and hosts Japan in the quarter-final.
Brazil edged past Germany after an extra contest 4:3 while Azerbaijan ached the same result against Portugal. Brazil thumped Azerbaijan 4-1 to book a date with Japan in the last four.
France beat Austria 4:2 while Cuba outfought Kazakhstan by the same margin. France outlasted Cuba 4:3 as the latter missed a -57kg judoka after -57kg judoka Aleman Godines had to withdraw from both the individual and team events due to illness.
Russia went unbeaten against the IJF Refugee team while Mongolia needed an extra contest to defeat a resilient China team. Russia continued their perfect run by beating Mongolia 4-0 to set up a semi-final meeting with France.
Japan routed Brazil 4-0 as former world champion Hashimoto Soichi (JPN) sealed the fourth and final point for the hosts. Hashimoto, who was overlooked for the individual competition, teased and tormented an overmatched Eduardo Barbosa (BRA), with one-handed sode-tsurikomi-goshi attacks as part of a typically flashy display.
France vs Russia
Europe’s elite met for a place in the final and it was a thrilling encounter as they finished tied 3-3 after all six of their respective judoka had fought. An additional contest was required to produce a winner. The -70kg category was randomly drawn and world champion Marie Eve Gahie (FRA) wrapped up her second win over Madina Taimazova (RUS) of the match to steer France into the final to set up a rematch of the 2018 final.
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