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Kengo Takaichi is Japan's alternative for triple World Champ Ebinuma
19 Feb 2015 18:30
It's not easy to qualify for Japan's team for the World Championships. Kengo Takaichi again proved that he should be the second man U66kg behind Masashi Ebinuma. In Dusseldorf Takaichi won the Grand Prix and it wasn't his first victory.
The top seeded athlete and 2014 Asian Games winner, DAVAADORJ Tumurkhuleg, entered the final, where he was opposed to TAKAICHI Kengo (JPN), ranked 15 in the world and winner of the first edition of the Budapest Grand Prix, last year. In the semi-final, DAVAADORJ defeated the two-time-winner of the Paris Grand Slam, David Larose, who is coming back after a long period away from the tatami due to an injury.
After half of the final, TAKAICHI was leading by a penalty difference, as DAVAADORJ had received two shido penalties. One penalty later, but this time to the Japanese, was not enough for the Mongolian to get the ultimate award and he had to remain on the second step of the podium.
Beside the two finalists and David LAROSE who were among the favourites of the competition, none of the other top seeded athletes were able to enter the final block. The first bronze medal fight opposed Yakub SHAMILOV (RUS) and Vazha MARGVELASHVILI (GEO). In the opening seconds SHAMILOV produced a first effort with a powerful tomoe-nage for waza-ari. But after 2 minutes and 5 seconds, MARGVELASHVILI, executed a ko-soto-gari, with a perfect timing for ippon.
The second bronze medal fight saw An Baul (KOR) entering the tatami against David Larose (FRA). The Korean was also the first to score with a shoulder movement for yuko, while the French, slower and less precise than his opponent, was penalized for passivity. This first yuko was enough for AN to step on the second World Judo Tour podium of his career, after the silver medal gained last year in Jeju.
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