Shohei Ono qualified for the semi final at the third day of the Judo Tournament in Tokyo, not a surprise. More interesting is who will be his opponent for the last two fights in this category U73kg. World Champion Lasha Shavdatuashvili from Georgia will have to face An Chang-Rim of Korea. Shavdatuashvili had an easy pool where he beat Guillaume Chaine (FRA), Aden-Alexandre Houssein (DJI) and Canadian Arthur Margelidon in the quarter final.
An Chang-Rim had more opposition from the beginning with 2016 Olympic Champion U66kg Fabio Basile, but the Italian couldn’t resist An. Also Uzbek judoka Turaev couldn’t stop ‘Shavda’ to reach the quarter final where Tohar Butbul was his opponent. Butbul didn’t have to fight twice as both his opponents had pulled out of the tournament, what a shame, not to fight at the Olympic Games. An though didn’t have a big problem with Butbul who was sent to the repechage finals.
The King, Shohei Ono was the non seeded player in pool A where Rustam Orujov was the number one seed. He defeated Musa Mogushkov in his first contest. The talented Somon Makhmakbekov couldn’t prevent Orujov to proceed his mission to stop Ono, but the Japanese favourite resisted Orujov with an uchimata and qualified for the semis. Before Orujov, Ono had one warm-up match against Bilal Ciloglu of Turkey, the bronze medallist of the World Championships this year was taken seriously by Ono but lost his match.
Swedish World silver medallist Tommy Macias was surprised in this second contest against Akil Gjakova of Kosovo. Gjakova had beaten Nils Stump of Switzerland before he faced Macias. Mongolian Tsend-Ochir Tsogtbaatar had an easy draw and Gjakova was his first serious opponent. He overcame Gjakova and qualified for the semi finals. In 2012 Nyam-Ochir Sainjargal won bronze for Mongolia in this category.
Ono will face Tsend-Ochir Tsogtbaatar and both never met before. Tsogtbaatar is a dangerous outsider but Ono is undefeated since 2014. In the other semi final Shavdatuashvili is the underdog against An who beat his three times before. He won the last of four confrontations against An and is the World Champion, so he in the man in shape.
Rustam and Gjakova will fight for a last chance for a bronze medal bout. Orujov won four out of five matches against Gjakova. Margelidon and Butbul battle and the Israelian fighter won three times against the Canadian who beat Butbul once.