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Nagase in pole position for Tokyo 2020 nomination
23 Nov 2019 15:50
Former world champion Nagase Takanori defeated former world silver medallist Fujiwara Sotaro (JPN) to win his sixth Grand Slam gold medal and to take charge of the race for Tokyo 2020. As expected, world number 15 Nagase and world number 12 Fujiwara were well-matched and two minutes of added time was required to produce a winner as the latter was penalised for passivity for the third time to settle the first men’s final on day two.
In the first semi-final Nagase defeated Asian Championships bronze medallist Tomokiyo Hikaru (JPN) with a huge o-soto-gari and sealed his win with an emphatic seoi-otoshi.
In the second semi-final Fujiwara held down 22-year-old Grand Slam debutant Turpal Tepkaev (RUS) for 20 seconds for ippon to book an all-Japanese final.
The first bronze medal was won by Tepkaev after Tashkent Grand Prix silver medallist Kamoliddin Rasulov (UZB) was given his marching orders for picking up his third shido for passivity with 55 seconds left.
The second bronze medal went to world number six De Wit who saw off Universiade winner Tomokiyo Hikaru (JPN) t capture his first Grand Slam medal in over a year. The Dutchman lifted his opponent up and over for a waza-ari and moved into the holddown but Tomokiyo escaped after nine seconds. De Wit saw out the remainder of the contest without being threatened to secure his eighth Grand Slam honour.
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Martina Esposito (ITA)