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Hisayoshi Harasawa captures second title at national invitational championships


Olympic silver medalist Hisayoshi Harasawa won the men’s over-100-kilogram title at the National Invitational Weight Class Championships on Saturday.

Harasawa, runner-up at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games and a bronze medalist at last year’s worlds, triumphed at Fukuoka Kokusai Center, capturing his second championship, having also won in 2016. Harasawa defeated Kazuya Sato in extra time after referees penalized Sato three times.

The invitational championships are the final qualifying event for this summer’s world championships in Tokyo from Aug. 25 to Sept. 1.

Eighteen-year-old Akira Sone won her third straight women’s over-78-kg championship, beating world champion Sara Asahina in extra time.

Miku Tashiro, runner-up at last year’s worlds, took her second title and her first in four years by winning the women’s 63-kg division.

Shoichiro Mukai claimed his second title in the men’s 90-kg division, while Rio Olympic bronze medalist Ryunosuke Haga won his first 100-kg title.

Shori Hamada, the reigning women’s 78-kg champion, added this year’s invitational championship to her portfolio, while world bronze medalist Yoko Ono won the 70-kg division.

Japan’s representatives for the worlds in the six men’s and women’s weight classes below the two heavyweight divisions will be decided after the championships wrap up on Sunday.

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