Two-time defending champion Kosei Inoue beat his archrival Keiji Suzuki with an “ippon” complete win in the final to capture the All-Japan judo championship for the third straight time on Tuesday at Tokyo’s Nippon Budokan.
The 24-year-old Sydney Olympics 100-kg gold medalist, who lost to Suzuki in the 100-kg final in the weight-category national championships earlier this month, has become the fourth judoka to win the All-Japan title for the third straight time following Yasuhiro Yamashita, Naoya Ogawa and Shinichi Shinohara.
The end came 3 minutes, 5 seconds into the six-minute match when Inoue unleashed his vaunted “uchimata” inner thigh throw, sending Suzuki spinning down on the mat.
“I am happy that I was able to show my gratitude to those who have supported me. I could not afford to lose to Suzuki because if I had lost, people would say Suzuki should have been selected (for September’s World Championships in Osaka),” Inoue said.
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