Grand Slam Tokyo 2016: Day 1 Belongs to Japan

Tyumen Grand Slam winner ABE Hifumi won -66kg gold while his younger sister took -52kg silver as four of the five finals on day one were all-Japanese contests. The hosts are already out of sight at the top of the medal table with four gold, four silver and five bronze medals. Mongolia are second after the first day with one gold medal and two bronze medals with South Korea in third place having earned one silver and one bronze medal.

The season-ending Tokyo Grand Slam 2016 continues on Saturday with four weight categories set the contested as the men’s -73kg and -81kg categories and the women’s -63kg and -70kg categories will be settled. Rio 2016 Olympic champion Tina TRSTENJAK (SLO) returns to IJF duty on Saturday but will have four Japanese judoka among those with the goal of defeating the second person to wear the new gold backpatch at Toyo 2016.

-48kg: Mongolia’s former world champion wins abroad for the first time in 2016      

Former world champion MUNKHBAT Urantsetseg (MGL) ousted Rio 2016 Olympic silver medallist JEONG Bo-Kyeong (KOR) to win her first event outside her homeland in 2016. The -48kg category was the only one out of the five contested on day one which did not feature a Japanese finalist. While there was not Japanese representation, the first final of the competition was still an all-Asian affair. Ulaanbaatar Grand Prix winner MUNKHBAT won her fourth Grand Slam gold medal on shido penalties 1:2 as JEONG was twice reprimanded for being passive. 

MUNKHBAT, Urantsetseg (MGL) vs JEONG, Bo-Kyeong (KOR)

Bronze Medal Fights
TONAKI, Funa (JPN) vs ENDO, Hiromi (JPN)
KONDO, Ami (JPN) vs GALBADRAKH, Otgontsetseg (KAZ)

Final Results
1. MUNKHBAT, Urantsetseg (MGL)
2. JEONG, Bo-Kyeong (KOR)
3. TONAKI, Funa (JPN)
3. KONDO, Ami (JPN)
5. ENDO, Hiromi (JPN)
5. GALBADRAKH, Otgontsetseg (KAZ)
7. NIKOLIC, Milica (SRB)
7. KANG, Yujeong (KOR)

-52kg:TSUNODA wins all-Japanese battle take gold on IJF World Judo Tour debut
Kodokan Cup winner TSUNODA Natsumi (JPN) won gold on her IJF debut as she defeated teenage starlet ABE Uta (JPN) in the -52kg final. TSUNODA, 24, faced ABE, 16, in the gold medal contest as two new names came to the fore in Tokyo. The former fought her way to the top of the podium as she tapped out the teenage sister of ABU Hifumi with a juji-gatame.

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

Bronze Medal Fights
TATSUKAWA, Rina (JPN) vs VAN SNICK, Charline (BEL)
SHISHIME, Ai (JPN) vs KELDIYOROVA, Diyora (UZB)                                  

Final Results
1. TSUNODA, Natsumi (JPN)
2. ABE, Uta (JPN)
5. VAN SNICK, Charline (BEL)
7. HA, Ju Hee (KOR)
7. KWON, Aerim (KOR)

-57kg: Five-star YOSHIDA retains Tokyo gold after 11 minute domestic duel
YOSHIDA Tsukasa (JPN) retained her Tokyo Grand Slam title with a win against former world champion UDAKA Nae (JPN) to capture her fifth Grand Slam gold medal after a lung-busting 11 minute final. YOSHIDA, who is still only 21, opposed 2014 world champion UDAKA, who was followed a year later by 2012 Olympic champion MATSUMOTO Kaori (JPN). After six energy-sapping yet engrossing minutes of added time UDAKA was penalised for passivity as the younger fighter struck home hold one more time.

UDAKA, Nae (JPN) vs YOSHIDA, Tsukasa (JPN)

Bronze Medal Fights

Final Results 
1. YOSHIDA, Tsukasa (JPN)
2. UDAKA, Nae (JPN)
3. TAMAOKI, Momo (JPN)
3. DORJSUREN, Sumiya (MGL)
5. ISHIKAWA, Megumi (JPN)
5. RECEVEAUX, Helene (FRA)
7. MALLOY, Marti (USA)

-60kg: Japan’s junior world champion upstages teammate and Rio 2016 Olympic bronze medallist
Junior world champion NAGAYAMA Ryuju (JPN) shocked Rio 2016 Olympic bronze medallist TAKATO Naohisa (JPN) to win -60kg gold on day one in Tokyo. The teammates who train together every day at Tokai University met in one of Japan’s four finals as NAGAYAMA threw spectacularly with an uchi-mata for ippon with 44 seconds remaining as he lifted up TAKATO from his knees and over onto this back. The silver medallist gave NAGAYAMA a pat on his back after the contested was awarded and both judoka will be in contention in 2017 on the IJF World Judo Tour.

TAKATO, Naohisa (JPN) vs NAGAYAMA, Ryuju (JPN)

Bronze Medal Fights
MSHVIDOBADZE, Robert (RUS) vs DASHDAVAA, Amartuvshin (MGL)
KITADAI, Felipe (BRA) vs CHOI, In Hyuk (KOR)

Final Results 
1. NAGAYAMA, Ryuju (JPN)
2. TAKATO, Naohisa (JPN)
3. CHOI, In Hyuk (KOR)
5. DASHDAVAA, Amartuvshin (MGL)
5. KITADAI, Felipe (BRA)
7. TILOVOV, Mukhriddin (UZB)
7. CHEN, Yen-Lun (TPE)

-66kg: Golden teenager ABE on the verge of superstardom
Former Youth Olympic Games winner ABE Hifumi was the star of the show in the -66kg category as he defeated former Astana Grand Prix winner HASHIGUCHI Yuuki (JPN) to win gold. ABE, 19, has been deliberately held back as Japan were reluctant to release him full-time on the circuit with 2020 in mind but that will change now. ABE has had to be patient but almost always delivers and his star shone brightest under the neon lights of Tokyo with a magical display which culminated with a beautiful sode-tsurikomi-goshi for a yuko and tai-otoshi for ippon.

ABE said: “I always fight for ippon, this is so important to me. I go forward and give everything in every contest. At London 2012 the Japanese men did not win a gold medal and it was important to change that at Rio 2016. We want to show the world that Japanese judo is the best.

“I want to compete in Europe next year and regularly on the IJF circuit. My first World Championships is my aim and from there I want to become the world number one. My sister fought well today, I am pleased for her, she offers me a lot of motivation and together I hope that we can become world number one judoka.”

ABE, Hifumi (JPN) vs HASHIGUCHI, Yuuki (JPN)

Bronze Medal Fights
ISODA, Norihito (JPN) vs DOVDON, Altansukh (MGL)
TAKAJO, Tomofumi (JPN) vs PULIAEV, Mikhail (RUS)

Final Result
1. ABE, Hifumi (JPN)
3. DOVDON, Altansukh (MGL)
3. PULIAEV, Mikhail (RUS)
5. ISODA, Norihito (JPN)
5. TAKAJO, Tomofumi (JPN)
7. AN, Baul (KOR)
7. GOMBOC, Adrian (SLO)

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