Olympic champion Baker Mashu will wear his gold backpatch for the first time at the Paris Grand Slam 2017 in February as part of a 21-strong Japanese team for the traditional IJF curtain raiser.

World number one Baker, 22, who won bronze in Paris in 2014, has not competed since winning Olympic gold and has picked one of the toughest events in the sport to make his comeback. 


The Tokai University member will be joined in action by Rio 2016 Olympic bronze medallists Takato Naohisa, Kondo Ami and Yamabe Kanae.

Tokyo Grand Slam heavyweight winner Ojitani Takeshi and double world silver medallist Shichinohe Ryu lead the +100kg charge for Japan with 18-year-old Tokyo Grand Slam bronze medallist IIDA Kentaro earning his first international start on the IJF World Judo Tour at -100kg.

Baker has Tokyo Grand Slam bronze medallist Nagasawa Kenta for company at -90kg while Tashkent Grand Prix silver medallist Watanabe Hayato is alone at -81kg.

Tokyo Grand Slam winner Hashimoto Soichi fights at -73kg with golden boy Abe Hifumi at -66kg alongside Tokyo Grand Slam runner-up Hashiguchi Yuuki.

Takato is paired at -60kg with his Tokyo Grand Slam 2016 conqueror and Tokai colleague in Nagayama Ryuju who is the reigning Junior world champion.

In the women’s team Yamabe will fight at +78kg while Asahina Sarah will make her Paris Grand Slam debut at the same weight.

Tokyo Grand Slam winner Sato Ruika sees action at -78kg while 20-year-old Niizoe Saki and Arai Chizuru both fight at -70kg.

Former Junior world champion MINEI Miho, 19, who finished fifth in Paris last year, joins Tyumen Grand Slam winner Nouchi Aimi at -63kg.

Five-time Grand Slam winner Yoshida Tsukasa will aim to win her first medal in France at -57kg while Tokyo Grand Slam winner Tsunoda Natsumi makes her international bow at -52kg. Kondo Ami completes the selection at -48kg.        


Full team:

 

【Men】

+100kg

OJITANI Takeshi

SHICHINOHE Ryu

 

-100kg 

IIDA Kentaro        

            

-90kg

BAKER Mashu

NAGASAWA Kenta

 

-81kg

WATANABE Hayato         

            

-73kg

HASHIMOTO Soichi

                          

-66kg    

ABE Hifumi

HASHIGUCHI Yuuki           

 

-60kg    

NAGAYAMA Ryuju

TAKATO Naohisa

 

【Women】

+78kg

YAMABE Kanae

ASAHINA Sara    

 

-78kg

SATO Ruika        

 

-70kg                  

NIIZOE Saki        

ARAI Chizuru

 

-63kg    

MINEI Miho         

NOUCHI Aimi

 

-57kg    

YOSHIDA Tsukasa

 

-52kg    

TSUNODA Natsumi

 

-48kg                  
KONDO Ami         


Watch the Paris Grand Slam live and free from 11 - 12 February at www.ippon.tv

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