Hosts Complete Clean Sweep in Japan Cup
2002 Japan Open International Judo Tournament hosted by the All Japan
Judo Federation took place at the Nippon Budokan in Tokyo. Over 150
judokas from approximately 30 member National Federations took part
in this event.
Japan swept all four weight classes on the opening day of the inaugural
Japan International judo tournament. In the -100kg veteran Keiji Suzuki
(the winner at last year's University Games in Beijing), was never
in danger from Arata Kojima, throwing him for Waza-ari and holding
in Tate-shio-gatame, to claim the title..
Yoshihiro Akiyama, a 26-year-old former South Korean resident captured
his first international title as a Japanese (after previously competing
for South Korea and winning the Asian Championships 2001). In the
-81kg Akiyama beat Takashi Ono by a unanimous judges decision after
both judokas ended the final without score. This was Akiyama's second
title since obtaining Japanese citizenship in September 2001, the
first being at the Kodokan Cup national weightcategory championships
in November. Kenzo Nakamura, Gold medallist at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics,
finished off the day in third place in this category.
Masatoshi Uchishiba came from behind to snatch the -60 kg title from
Tatsuaki Egusa scoring Yuko with just two seconds left in the final.
While Michihiro Omigawa rolled Katsuhiro Kitagawa into Tate-shihogatame
and held him for Ippon in the -66kg final.
On the second day two finals were all Japanese affairs, while in the
-73kg final Masahiro Takamatsu defeated Daniel Fernandes of France
to complete a Japanese clean sweep of all seven titles at this event.
The 2000 World Junior Champion threw the European Bronze medallist
Fernendes to score Yuko twice, but received a scare when the Frenchman
pulled off a strong attack. However one of the corner judges gestured
the score as only a Yuko, which decided the winner of the category,
as Takamatsu held on to the lead for victory. "I thought he had scored
waza ari. I think it would have been a waza ari if we were playing
in France. But judges decide everything and we just accept their decision,"
said Takamatsu, 19. "I just tried to do my best, because everybody
expected me to win and make a clean sweep for Japan. It really fired
me up. Since I won the Kodokan Cup in my high school days, I have
struggled a lot mentally."
With Yuta Yazaki winning the middleweight title and Tatsuhiro Muramoto
winning th heavyweight trophy to wind up the inaugural twoday competition.
the -90Kg Yuta Yazaki threw Seigo Saito with a left Uchi-mata two
minutes 56 seconds into the final. After the fight Yazaki, 21 said
"I lost to him (Saito) twice before, so I was determined to beat him
today. I was confident that I could throw him once I could get hold
of him. I was able to do it because I tried to do it although I was
Tatsuhiro Muramoto narrowly defeated Yasuyuki Muneta by split decision
to win the +100kg title. It was an excellent day for Muramoto, who
defeated World Silver Medallist Frank Moeller of Germany and 2000
World Junior Champion Gadji Gadjimourad Mouslimov of Russia on his
way to the final. "I wanted to play my better judo today. Since I
finished third at the Korean International, I prepared for this event,"
said the 2000 Asian Open-class Champion.
Officials at the first Japan International Judo Tournament expressed
concern about the lack of competition provided by foreigners, after
none advanced to a final in any of the four weight classes on the
opening day. Of 65 foreign judoka competing on Saturday, only two
made it as far as the semifinals and only one, from Kazakhstan, won
a Bronze medal.
"It's clear the foreign athletes have not trained sufficiently" said
a Japanese judo official!
1) M. UCHISHIBA (JPN)
2) T. EGUSA (JPN)
3) B. DONBAY (KAZ)
3) D. HYUN (KOR)
1) M. OMIGAWA (JPN)
2) K. KITAGAWA (JPN)
3) H. KIM (KOR)
3) T. TORII (JPN)
- 73 Kg
1) M. TAKAMATSU (JPN)
2) D. FERNANDES (FRA)
3) Y. KANAMARU (JPN)
3) E. AKBAROV (UZB)
- 81 Kg
1) Y. AKIYAMA (JPN)
2) T. ONO (JPN)
3) E. NOSE (JPN)
3) K. NAKAMURA (JPN)
- 90 Kg
1) Y. YAZAKI (JPN)
2) S. SAITO (JPN)
3) H. IZUMI (JPN)
3) H. HWANG (KOR)
- 100 Kg
1) K. SUZUKI (JPN)
2) A. KOJIMA (JPN)
3) T. KOZAI (JPN)
3) T. INOUE (JPN)
1) T. MURAMOTO (JPN)
2) Y. MUNETA (JPN)
3) S. ICHINOWATARI (JPN)
3) G. MOUSLIMOV (RUS)