DUSSELDORF, GERMANY – Shori Hamada virtually guaranteed herself a spot at her first Olympic Games after capturing gold at the Dusseldorf Grand Slam on Sunday.
Hamada, the 2018 world champion and 2019 runner-up, won all five of her bouts in the women’s 78-kg division by ippon and defeated Brazil’s Mayra Aguiar, a two-time Olympic bronze medalist, in the final.
“I was able to do what I’ve practiced and I’m happy to win,” Hamada said.
“I’ve been working hard for a long time because I want to make the Olympic team. If I make it, my goal is to win the gold. Even if I get thrown, even if I get pinned down, my aim is to win.”
Japan’s Sarah Asahina also prevailed on the final day in Dusseldorf, beating Azerbaijan’s Iryna Kindzerska in the women’s over 78-kg final.
In the men’s field, Japan’s Shoichiro Mukai lost his quarterfinal match in the 90-kilogram competition but advanced through the repechage to claim bronze.
Nearly all the Japanese judoka who participated in the three-day tournament are favorites to represent Japan at the Tokyo Olympics.