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World champion Akira Sone selected the Games
24 Nov 2019 17:20
World champion Sone Akira (JPN) defeated heavyweight legend Idalys Ortiz (CUB) in the women’s heavyweight final to confirm selection for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. World number one Ortiz finished second best against world number two Sone in a rematch of the 2019 Worlds final in Tokyo after being caught with an o-uchi-gari after two minutes of golden score.
The All Japan Judo Federation had announced that if any of their four reigning world champions secured gold in Osaka then they would be selected for the Games subject to approval from the AJJF High Performance Committee. Ono Shohei was ruled out by injury while both Abe Uta (JPN and Maruyama Joshiro (JPN) lost their respective finals on day one meaning that the scheduled Tokyo 2020 press conference announcements were cancelled.
Ortiz, the standard bearer and gatekeeper of the category slipped to a 1:3 head-to-head record against the new and leading force of the division but will offer a far greater challenge on the Olympic stage next summer.
In the first semi-final Brasilia Grand Slam winner Beatriz Souza (BRA) lost once again to her nemesis Ortiz via ippon from a deep seoi-nage.
In the second semi-final Sone defeated Budapest Grand Prix winner Tomita Wakaba (JPN) after two minutes of golden score as the latter received her marching orders for a third shido for dropping.
The first bronze medal was won by former world champion Asahina Sarah (JPN) in the most unsatisforcy and understated fashion as Tomita picked up her third shido for passivity with five seconds left. Asahina bowed to her supporters from Park 24 before a touching embrace with her dad Terry as she left the field of play.
The second bronze medal was won by Souza who threw with a tani-otoshi for a waza-ari score and pinned down Brasilia Grand Slam bronze medallist Julia Tolofua (FRA) for 10 seconds to force her way onto the last Grand Slam podium of the year.
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