• Kyodo News


World champion Takamasa Anai and the sister act of Haruka and Megumi Tachimoto capped the three-day Grand Slam Tokyo judo meet with gold medals for Japan on Monday evening.

Anai captured the men’s 100-kg title the hard way, winning by waza-ari against Ariel Zeevi of Israel in the final at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium.

The younger Tachimoto, 20-year-old Haruka, scored a yuko point off the Netherlands’ Edith Bosch in sudden-death extra time to win the women’s 70-kg category before her sister Megumi won the over-78 kg by waza-ari over Cuba’s Idalys Ortiz.

Japan was on the cusp of the day’s fourth gold in the men’s over-100 kg, but Kazuhiko Takahashi was forced to pull out of the final with an elbow injury he suffered in the previous bout against German goliath Andreas Toelzer. South Korea’s Kim Sung Min took home the gold by default.

“I hadn’t won a single Grand Slam this year, so I was determined to do it in Tokyo,” said world No. 1 Anai, who successfully bounced back from losing in last month’s Asian Games final to South Korea’s Hwang Hee Tae.

“As you all thought, the final was boring. But I still had to win it, regardless.”

Haruka Tachimoto hauled in the host country’s first gold on the last day of competition, the 2008 and 2009 world junior champion showing tremendous composure against Bosch, who is 10 years her senior.

Tachimoto didn’t give an inch to the Dutchwoman throughout the 6 minutes, 59 seconds she needed to win her first Grand Slam title in her first appearance at the competition.

“It was a tough final for me, and I wasn’t very good in my matches before that,” Tachimoto said. “I’m still happy about this, though. But if I want to reach my goal of getting to the Olympics, I’ll have to do much better.

“It was my first time at the Grand Slam, but I’ve always wanted to enter. I was given a great opportunity and I had every intention of making the most out of it.”

Megumi Tachimoto capitalized on the early exit of world champion Mika Sugimoto, who was shocked by Kanae Yamabe in an all-Japanese third round affair, losing on a pair of yuko points.

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