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Shohei Ono leads top team of Japan in Düsseldorf
Shohei Ono leads top team of Japan in Düsseldorf
20 Feb 2020 14:40
Mark Pickering - IJF
IJF Emanuele Di Feliciantonio / International Judo Federation

Olympic and reigning world champion Ono Shohei (U73kg) leads an 11-strong Japanese team in action at the second Grand Slam of the season this weekend in Düsseldorf. Three-time world champion Ono, who will be chasing a record fifth Düsseldorf title, starts his 2020 season on Saturday at the ISS Dome.

Three-time world champion Takato Naohisa (U60kg) also begins his year in Germany along with two-time world champion Abe Hifumi (U66kg) as both stars will see action on the opening day.

Former world champion and Rio 2016 Olympic bronze medallist Nagase Takanori (U81kg) will take to the tatami on Saturday while world silver medallist Mukai Shoichiro (U90kg) will be his country’s only male representative on the last day.

One-time senior world champion and two-time world silver medallist Tonaki Funa (U48kg) and world champion Abe Uta (-52kg) are potential showstealers for Japan on Friday.

Two-time world silver medallist and Rio 2016 Olympian Tashiro Miku (U63kg) campaigns on Saturday while back-to-back world champion Arai Chizuru (U70kg) will be aiming to return to form at her first attempt in 2020.

Former world champions Hamada Shori (U78kg) and Asahina Sarah (+78kg) will both compete on the third and final day in Germany.

Injuries

Reigning world champion Maruyama Joshiro (U66kg) has withdrawn from the competition along with former world champions Wolf Aaron (U100kg) – due to a meniscus injury – and Yoshida Tsukasa (U57kg) who has a left finger injury. Olympic silver medallist Harasawa Hisayoshi (+100kg) has also pulled out of the event.