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Hiroyuki Akimoto rocks his way in Dusseldorf
22 Feb 2014 18:05
Former world champion Akimoto Hiroyuki emerged victorious in the biggest category at the Dusseldorf Grand Prix. Akimoto and his opponent Sagi Muki of Israel outlasted the 39 judoka who joined them in -73kg action.
Akimoto outclassed his rival as Muki was reluctant to attack as he feared the offensive arsenal of his adversary. The Japanese judoka finally broke the deadlock with just eight seconds left as he sprung to his knees and threw Muki with a rapid drop seoi-nage which earned the applause of the crowd.
Muki won the first semi-final against reigning European champion Rok Draksic after two minutes while Akimoto bested Dastan Ykybaev (KAZ) at the same stage by two yuko to ensure another medal for high-flying Japan.
The first bronze medal was clinched by former world bronze medallist and long-time -66kg standout Musa MOGUSHKOV (RUS) who defeated Ykybaev with a yuko from a ko-uchi-gari which was the only score in the hard-fought contest. The second bronze medal was won by Draksic in a highly-entertaining contest with American world number 12 Nick Delpopolo/. DRAKSIC exploded in action and set a high tempo which put the American on the back foot from the outset. Pan American champion Delpopolo was close to scoring with his fourth uchi-mata attempt before the Slovenian sealed victory from a waza-ari with a drop seoi-nage as 40 seconds remained on the clock.
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