Euronews correspondent Pedro Lasuen is in Tokyo for the Judo Grand-Slam and explains the importance of competition in the Land of the Rising Sun:
“To duel in Japan is like playing football at Maracaná, tennis at Wimbledon or rugby at Twickenam. Tokyo is the inner sanctum of the sport, a sanctum that inspires the judokas coming from all over the world. They all have arrived at this Grand Slam well motivated, but also with respect and caution because they face the Japanese. And when the Japanese fight at home there is always danger.’‘
The Japanese judoka emulated their stunning opening day of the grand slam on the second day of competition.
In the women’s under -70kg class Japan’s Chizuru Arai defeated compatriot Yoko Ono in the final with Ippon, 7.23 into the bout.
The sun continued to rise on Japanese judo in the men’s -73kg class.
Grand Slam winner in Paris Hiroyuki Akimoto got the better of South Korea’s An Changrim the grand slam winner in Abu Dhabi.
In the women’s -63kg category the Europeans finally made their presence felt
and it was Germany’s European Champion Martyna Tradjos against the World Champion Slovenia’s Tina Trstenjak. The German Tradjos came away with the plaudits.
In the men’s -81kg class the two times world champion Georgia’s Avtandili Tchrikishvili took on the South Korean Lee Seungsu in the final and added another Grand Slam victory to his impressive list of career titles.
Sunday sees the final day of competition with five more finals to look forward to.