Clean sweep for hosts Japan who go four for four in Osaka

Hosts Japan were unstoppable in Osaka as they claimed gold in all four weight categories on Friday.

Five countries hit the medal trail on the opening day
Kazakhstan's SMETOV (white judogi) throws MAGSAR (MGL) for ippon in the -60kg third round



-48kg: TONAKI triumphs to open Japan gold medal rush   

World Championships silver medallist TONAKI Funa (JPN) struck gold at home in the first final at the Osaka Grand Slam 2018. Former world champion MUNKHBAT Urantsetseg (MGL) showed off her ne-waza prowess in the earlier rounds but made a mistake on the ground in the final when she miscalculated a turnover and TONAKI took full advantage as she applied a mune-gatame for 20 seconds to take gold in less than a minute. The win provided TONAKI with her second Grand Slam title and gave her the edge of MUNKHBAT in their head-to-head series which now stands at 4:3 in the favour of the former owner of the red backpatch in the -48kg category.

In the first semi-final MUNKHBAT held down Paris Grand Slam silver medallist KANG Yujeong (KOR) for 10 seconds to score her second waza-ari. The Mongolian led by a waza-ari score and then put on a ne-waza clinic which culminated with osaekomi in the favour of MUNKHBAT. In the second semi-final TONAKI beat teammate and former World Judo Masters winner ENDO Hiromi (JPN) who was penalised with her third shido for passivity with one second left on the clock.

The first bronze medal contest was won by ENDO who surged past Tbilisi Grand Prix bronze medallist Melanie CLEMENT (FRA) in 44 seconds. Two-time Grand Slam bronze medallist CLEMENT did not get a look in as ENDO, who will remain third choice after today’s results, threw for a waza-ari and wrapped up her victory on the ground with osaekomi-waza for 10 seconds.

The second bronze medal was won by Olympic bronze medallist and former world champion KONDO Ami (JPN) who bested KANG. The Japanese judoka won on shidos in golden score after KANG was penalised with her third penalty for passivity in a result which will not help the 2014 world champion who remains behind TONAKI in the eyes of the Japanese.  

Final TONAKI, Funa (JPN) vs MUNKHBAT, Urantsetseg (MGL)     

Bronze Medal Fights ENDO, Hiromi (JPN) vs CLEMENT, Melanie (FRA) KANG, Yujeong (KOR) vs KONDO, Ami (JPN)   

Final Results

1. TONAKI, Funa (JPN)    2. MUNKHBAT, Urantsetseg (MGL)     3. ENDO, Hiromi (JPN)          3. KONDO, Ami (JPN)                                        5. CLEMENT, Melanie (FRA)                                                               5. KANG, Yujeong (KOR)            7. SIDEROT, Maria (POR)                  7. LEE, Hyekyeong (KOR)       

-52kg: World champion ABE Uta, 18, avenges her only IJF defeat for Grand Slam treble

Teenage world champion ABE Uta (JPN) won her third Grand Slam title to remain undefeated since 2016. The 18-year-old squared off with teammate and Asian Games winner TSUNODA Natsumi (JPN) in the -52kg final and avenged her only defeat on IJF World Judo Tour which came in the 2016 Tokyo Grand Slam final. ABE went forward and pressed world number nine TSUNODA with a barrage of attacks but the latter proved to be very difficult to throw and held off her superstar colleague to force the final into golden score. The contest was called to a halt after 57 seconds of additional time when TSUNODA was penalised for not taking a grip as her rival improved her winning run to 33 consecutive contests and her last seven events.

“I feel relieved to win, I had lost against TSUNODA three times and needed to win today to push myself towards the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games,” said ABE.

In the first semi-final TSUNODA saw off world bronze medallist Amandine BUCHARD (FRA) with two scores from sutemi-waza. The Japanese judoka scored for a second time with 19 seconds left on the clock to secure a place in the final. In the second semi-final ABE beat World Championships silver medallist SHISHIME Ai (JPN) by ippon in a rematch of the final in Baku after just 20 seconds.

The first bronze medal was awarded to SHISHIME who defeated Taipei Open bronze medallist MAEDA Chishima (JPN) by ippon with 28 seconds left on the clock. SHISHIME threw her compatriot with a reverse seoi-nage in the closing seconds to earn her ninth Grand Slam medal and looked relieved to have sealed a place on the podium.      

The second bronze medal was won by world number one BUCHARD who pipped Asian Games silver medallist PARK Da Sol (KOR) to the podium. France’s BUCHARD won her fifth Grand Slam medal by rolling PARK over from the one side for a waza-ari which was the only score of the contest.

Final ABE, Uta (JPN) vs TSUNODA, Natsumi (JPN)

Bronze Medal Fights SHISHIME, Ai (JPN) vs MAEDA, Chishima (JPN) BUCHARD, Amandine (FRA) vs PARK, Da Sol (KOR)

Final Results

1. ABE, Uta (JPN)                                            2. TSUNODA, Natsumi (JPN)                                             3. SHISHIME, Ai (JPN)      3. BUCHARD, Amandine (FRA                                                 5. MAEDA, Chishima (JPN)                                                               5. PARK, Da Sol (KOR)                                                  7. PEREIRA, Jessica (BRA)                    7. LKHAGVASUREN, Sosorbaram (MGL)        


MEN -60kg: Five-star NAGAYAMA tightens grip of men's lightest category at home  

World Championships bronze medallist NAGAYAMA Ryuju (JPN) claimed his fifth Grand Slam crown and the most important gold medal of his career in the -60kg category. NAGAYAMA defeated European u23 Championships winner Yago ABULADZE (RUS) in the final by a single score. Russia’s surprise package, who was ranked number 165 in the world at the start of the day, looked at home on his Grand Slam debut as his unorthodox style carried him through to the final. A waza-ari from the Japanese after 22 seconds was the difference as NAGAYAMA was the last man standing at -60kg to increase his lead at the top of the rankings.

"I have TAKATO (Naohisa), who is my senior, in my category and I still need a match against him to prove myself as the number one,” said NAGAYAMA.

In the first semi-final NAGAYAMA squeezed past Ekaterinburg Grand Slam bronze medallist OSHIMA Yuma (JPN) by a waza-ari score. In the second semi-final ABULADZE defeated double world bronze medallist KIM Won Jin (KOR) by two scores without reply. The Russian made his rival pay for being overconfident as the spoiler was undone in the last four stage and moved down into a bronze medal contest.

The first bronze medal was won by KIM who catapulted Düsseldorf Grand Slam bronze medallist Eric TAKABATAKE (BRA) through the air for ippon with a sode-tsurikomi-goshi after three minutes of golden score. KIM claimed his sixth Grand Slam medal to mark a successful return to action in his first event since the Rio 2016 Olympics where he finished seventh.

The second bronze medal went to OSHIMA who triumphed over Paris Grand Slam winner SHISHIME Toru (JPN). OSHIMA won his fifth Grand Slam medal after SHISHIME was penalised for going out of the area which was his third and final penalty. The scoreless contest was settled after two minutes of golden score and ensured that the world number 60 will be called up for international assignments in 2019.

World champion TAKATO Naohisa (JPN) was a casualty in the preliminaries as he was beaten by former world bronze medallist KIM Won Jin (KOR). TAKATO was riding a 35-fight winning-streak coming into his home Grand Slam but the challenge of the returning Korean proved too much as the former picked up this third shido in golden score in his opening contest.

Final ABULADZE, Yago (RUS) vs NAGAYAMA, Ryuju (JPN)     

Bronze Medal Fights KIM, Won Jin (KOR) vs TAKABATAKE, Eric (BRA)     OSHIMA, Yuma (JPN) vs SHISHIME, Toru (JPN)   

Final Results

1. NAGAYAMA, Ryuju (JPN)                                                                            2. ABULADZE, Yago (RUS)         3. KIM, Won Jin (KOR)          3. OSHIMA, Yuma (JPN)                                               5. TAKABATAKE, Eric (BRA)            5. SHISHIME, Toru (JPN)                                                          7. PELIM, Phelipe (BRA)                   7. SMETOV, Yeldos (KAZ)     

-66kg: Overlooked MARUYAMA upstages Japanese prodigy ABE Hifumi

Hohhot Grand Prix winner MARUYAMA Joshiro (JPN) stole the show in the -66kg category as he outshone two-time and reigning world champion ABE Hifumi (JPN). MARUYAMA defeated the seven-time Grand Slam winner in the last contest on day one in Osaka with a yoko-tomoe-nage effort catching ABE off guard after 63 seconds of golden score. MARUYAMA, who is the younger brother of -81kg international judoka MARUYAMA Goki, learnt that specialist technique from 1984 Olympic champion and 1985 world champion HOSOKAWA Shinji who nodded with approval at the end of the contest.

"I could tell all the fans were cheering for ABE and that really motivated me, I was determined to win today and I’m very happy,” said the -66kg gold medallist.

In the first semi-final YONDONPERENLEI Baskhuu (MGL) was on the receiving end of a terrific ippon from ABE who dismissed the Mongolian in style. In the second semi-final MARUYAMA defeated Tunis Grand Prix silver medallist FUJISAKA Taroh (JPN) in a scoreless contest when the latter received his third shido for passivity in golden score.

The first bronze medal was won by Cancun Grand Prix winner Aram GRIGORYAN (RUS) who threw FUJISAKA with te-waza after successive attacks. Grand Slam newcomer FUJISAKA had to settle for fifth-place as Russia made their presence felt in the -66kg category.

The second bronze medal went to YONDONPERENLEI who beat former Ekaterinburg Grand Slam bronze medallist Islam KHAMETOV (RUS) with a o-soto-gari with 39 seconds left on the clock which earned the Mongolian’s second waza-ari to win his country’s second medal in Osaka.   

Final MARUYAMA, Joshiro (JPN) vs ABE, Hifumi (JPN)   

Bronze Medal Fights FUJISAKA, Taroh (JPN) vs GRIGORYAN, Aram (RUS) YONDONPERENLEI, Baskhuu (MGL) vs KHAMETOV, Islam (RUS)     

Final Results

1. MARUYAMA, Joshiro (JPN)                                                         2. ABE, Hifumi (JPN)                                              3. GRIGORYAN, Aram (RUS)     3. YONDONPERENLEI, Baskhuu (MGL)                                             5. FUJISAKA, Taroh (JPN)      5. KHAMETOV, Islam (RUS)                                                             7. SERIKZHANOV, Yerlan (KAZ)                     7. MARGVELASHVILI, Vazha (GEO)


Saturday 24 November   Preliminary rounds - 11:00 Final Block - 17:30

Sunday 25 November Preliminary rounds - 11:00 Final Block - 17:30

Venue: Maruzen Intec Arena

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