Japan reigned supreme on the opening day of the Judo Grand Slam in Tokyo.
The major surprise of the day came when Japanese teenager Ami Kondo humbled reigning world champion Urantsetseg Munkhbat of Mongolia in the women’s -48 kilo final.
Two minutes into the final 18-year-old Kondo executed a delightful foot sweep to send her opponent to the floor and herself to the top of the podium winning by ippon.
Yuki Hashimoto continued Japan’s fine start to the competition winning the under 52 kilo division.
Hashimoto struck gold after just 29 seconds to beat World Championships silver medallist Erika Miranda of Brazil.
The Paris Grand Slam winner scored an ouchi-gari for ippon.
Two-time Paris Grand Slam bronze medallist Nae Udaka herself thrilled the home crowd when she defeated World Championships bronze medallist Marti Malloy of the United States in the -57kg final.
Former World Judo Masters runner-up was penalised after just 15 seconds for passivity but with 69 seconds of the fight remaining that was all forgotten courtesy of a thunderous ippon.
It wasn’t just Japan’s women who dominated day one.
With 45 seconds left of the final 20-year-old Naohisa Takato sent Korean opponent Won Jin Kim of Korea to the floor to retain his Tokyo Grand Slam gold title in the -60 kg class.
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