Asami stays on path for Olympic spot


World champion Haruna Asami took a big step Friday toward earning her place on Japan’s London Olympic judo team, defeating rival Tomoko Fukumi in the 48-kg final of the Grand Slam Tokyo meet.

Asami scored an ippon victory over Fukumi with a leg trip in what is considered to be the most hotly contested weight class among Japanese judoka after Ryoko Tani retired last year with five Olympic medals, including two gold, and seven world titles.

Other first-day winners were Takumi Miyakawa (52-kg women’s division), Hirofumi Yamamoto (60-kg men) and Tomofumi Takajo (66-kg men).