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Sydney Olympics gold medalist Kosei Inoue was among the men’s national team which departed Japan on Monday for France in preparation for this fall’s World Judo Championships.

Inoue will aim to capture his third consecutive title in the 100-kg weight category when the four-day tournament gets under way Sept. 11 at Osakajo Hall in Osaka.

“I want to train with some of the heavyweights in Europe so I can start getting hyped up,” Inoue said.

Inoue will join Tadahiro Nomura, who will compete in the 60-kg class at the World Championships, for the training tour in France and Spain before the group travels to Athens to observe the site of the 2004 Olympic Games in mid-July.

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