DUSSELDORF, GERMANY – Kokoro Kageura defeated Rio Olympic silver medalist Hisayoshi Harasawa in an all-Japan final to win the men’s over-100 kg title at the Dusseldorf Grand Prix in Germany on Sunday.
On the final day of action at Mitsubishi Electric Halle, Asian Championships winner Kageura claimed a yusei decision win over Harasawa, who was appearing in his first meet since the Rio Games and advanced to the final by scoring three ippon in his earlier bouts.
“I was looking for an opportunity to counter and it went as planned,” said the 21-year-old Kageura, who received a waza-ari for countering an uchimata attack with an uchimata-sukashi hand-throwing technique.
“I’m so glad to have won here. Now I hope to aim for the world championships,” he said of the Aug. 28-Sept. 3 meet in Budapest.
Earlier in the semifinal, Kageura beat Lukas Krpalek of the Czech Republic, who won gold in the 100-kg in Rio, in an ippon victory with a powerful seoi-nage shoulder throw.
After the day’s final bout on the mat, Harasawa reflected on his loss to Kageura and said he was made to pay the price for his arrogance.
“My opponent was good. I think somewhere in me my ego was telling me I could win (and he took advantage of that),” said Harasawa, who is the top candidate competing for the Budapest worlds berth in the over-100 kg class.
“I have no time to be disappointed. I have to switch gears and do well next time,” he said.
In the women’s 78 kg, Mami Umeki overcame an early waza-ari scare and earned an ippon victory over Madeleine Malonga of France in the final, and Rika Takayama won the bronze-medal match.
In the women’s over 78 kg, Megumi Tachimoto suffered an upset loss to Ukraine’s Iryna Kindzerska in the final that went into extra time. Akira Sone placed third in the same weight class.
In the men’s 100 kg, Aaron Wolf allowed Toma Nikiforov of Belgium to defeat him with an ippon in the final.
In the men’s 90 kg, Daiki Nishiyama finished third for Japan’s highest placing.
Japan won four gold in the women’s category and one gold in the men’s category in the three-day German Grand Prix.
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