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Dusseldorf kickstarts Judo Grand Prix season


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Dusseldorf kickstarts Judo Grand Prix season

The first Judo Grand Prix of the year got underway in Dusseldorf, Germany on Friday.

Russia’s Natalia Kuziutina was in top form as she won the under 52 kilo title.

The Paris Grand Slam bronze medallist was in devastating form all day and rounded off a high-quality display with victory over Yuki Hashimoto of Japan in the final.

There was success for Japan on the opening day of competition, though, when Olympic champion Kaori Matsumoto made a successful return to the World Judo Tour by winning the under 57 kilo class.

In the final the 26-year-old, wearing her Olympic gold back-patch in a colour scheme introduced this year at major judo meetings (the world champion wears red) – beat World Judo Masters winner Sumiya Dorjsuren of Mongolia.

Elsewhere World champion Masashi Ebinuma won the -66kg gold as he defeated Oberwart European Open bronze medallist Rene Schneider of Germany.

Schneider had won all four of his previous contests by ippon in a breakout display but came across an Ebinuma in electric form.

The Japanese Judoka took the title courtesy of a wazari-awasette-ippon.

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