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Takahashi claims national title

Kyodo News

Kazuhiko Takahashi stunned Athens Olympic gold medalist Keiji Suzuki and defending champion Takamasa Anai en route to winning his first title at the national championship on Thursday.

The 25-year-old Takahashi came from behind to score a “yusei” decision over Hiroki Tachiyama in the final of the open-weight meet that doubled as the final qualifier for the over-100-kg category at the world championships in Tokyo in September.

“I am relieved,” said Takahashi, who beat Suzuki by yusei in the quarterfinals before going on to see off Anai, also on a decision, in the semis at Nippon Budokan.