Takeshi Ojitani captured his second open-weight National Judo Championship on Friday, while beaten semifinalist Hisayoshi Harasawa was chosen for the over-100-kg division for this summer’s Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
Ojitani, 23, won his first title against 26-year-old Daiki Kamikawa two years ago and was triumphant again as he scored two wazaari for an ippon victory in the final.
World No. 2 and defending champion Harasawa, the prime candidate for the men’s heaviest division in Rio before Friday, was defeated by Kamikawa by decision in the semifinals. His rival for Rio, Ryu Shichinohe, was also eliminated in the same stage by ippon by Ojitani. Afterward, the All Japan Judo Federation picked Harasawa, who has won his last seven international tournaments.
“The race for the Olympic berth made the two (Harasawa and Shichinohe) tight. The pressure at the Olympics will be even bigger and I feel a sense of danger that I need to prepare the chosen wrestler properly,” national team coach Kosei Inoue said.
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