CAIRO – Japan’s Keiji Suzuki handily beat Vitaliy Bubon of Ukraine to capture the men’s 100-kg weight class title at the World Judo Championships on Thursday.
Suzuki, winner of the open-weight world title in Osaka in 2003 and gold medalist in the over 100-kg category at the Athens Olympics, overwhelmed Bubon by deploying an inner-thigh throw for an ippon victory.
“I’m extremely happy, much happier than the gold I won in Athens,” Suzuki said. “I knew many people wondered if Japanese judo in this weight class is all right with me, but I finally did it and I’ll keep on trying to win more as a world champion.”
It was a dream come true for the 25-year-old Suzuki, who achieved his long-cherished goal of winning a world or Olympic title in his original weight category.
Japan was denied a gold medal in any of the other three categories held on Thursday.
Yasuyuki Muneta, who was aiming for his second straight title in the men’s over 100-kg class, lost to Russian Alexander Mikhailine in the final.
In women’s action, Cuba’s Yurisel Laborde beat Sae Nakazawa, who was making her debut at the worlds at 78 kg, with an osotogari leg sweep in the final.
Maki Tsukada, the Olympic gold medalist in the over 78-kg weight division, settled for the bronze.
Tong went on to win the women’s heaviest division.
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