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Haruka Tachimoto back on track after winning Tyumen Grand Slam
19 Jul 2015 15:45
Japanese Tachimoto Haruka is back on track with her gold medal at the Grand Slam of Tyumen. In February she couldn’t participate in Dusseldorf due to a possible penalty. Although she was innocent she risked possible participation at the Olympic Games, but afterall it was settled and she could continue her quest for qualification. The Tokyo Grand Slam silver medallist starred in the U70kg category on the last day in Tyumen as she swept past the opposition with an exceptional showing.
All Japan Championships winner Tachimoto, 24, was competing on the international stage for the first time this year and looked stronger and stronger with every contest. Reigning Paris Grand Slam winner Linda Bolder (ISR) lost out to the inspired Japanese judoka who threw with a sumptuous uchi-mata for ippon with 90 seconds remaining.
Tachimoto said: “I feel awesome. I treated today as if it was my World Championships, I put everything into my competition and I am very happy to stay unbeaten in 2015. Rio 2016 is my goal and I hope today’s result will mean that I can compete in more international events.”
In the first semi-final former world bronze medallist KIM Seongyeon (KOR) – who won the Universiade in Gwangju two weeks ago – was undone by Bolder after 80 seconds as the Korean had to tap out to a juji-gatame. In the second semi-final Tachimoto was all business as she dispatched European Games bronze medallist Szaundra Diedrich (GER) with a tai-otoshi for ippon.
The first bronze medal was won by Diedrich who submitted top seed and Ulaanbaatar Grand Prix winner Bernadette Graf (AUT) to secure a podium spot. The second bronze medal was claimed by Pan American Games winner Kelita Zupancic (CAN) who defeated Kim by the margin of a single yuko score which came 11 seconds from time with a beautiful uchi-mata.
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