The first day of the Tokyo Grand Slam ended with titles divided between five countries: Azerbaijan, Canada, Korea, the Netherlands and Japan, who took two titles at home. If the country where judo was created in 1882 by Jigoro Kano Shihan therefore dominates this first day, the domination is not outrageous, quite the contrary.

We clearly feel that the Paris 2024 Olympic Games are approaching and that in this period of collecting points, everyone wants their piece of the pie. In this context of increased competition, the Tokyo Grand Slam, which is nevertheless considered particularly difficult to win for the other judo nations, smiled on four of them, without forgetting that in all there are 13 countries that climbed onto the podium and 20 that reached the final block.

Among the successes of the day, we will remember that of Hidayat Heydarov (AZE) who, following on from his recent European title, won the gold medal again. We will once again highlight the uncompromising battle waged by the two Canadians, Jessica Klimkait and Christa Deguchi, who, although they only competed at a distance today, are both on the podium again.

We will note the very good performance of Joonhwan Lee (KOR), who beat the former world champion, Matthias Casse (BEL) in the final. The latter can still be satisfied after his disappointing 5th place at the European Championships; a return to the forefront since his title at the World Judo Masters last summer, which is a good sign. Last but not least, Sanne Van Dijke (NED) produced a very good performance by winning in Tokyo, which bodes well for the upcoming events.

Let's not forget the gold medals of the two locals, Sanshiro Murao and Mao Arai, who signed the best result of the Japanese team today. This gives us Japan in the lead, closely followed by the Republic of Korea, Canada, Azerbaijan, the Netherlands, Georgia, France, Belgium and Brazil. This ranking can be shaken up again during the second day of competition, which begins at 9 a.m. on Sunday. Stay tuned to to follow all the action live.

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