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Day One of World Judo Masters belongs to Japan

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By Robert Hackwill
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Day One of World Judo Masters belongs to Japan

Guangzhou, China, is host to this year’s World Judo Masters, the world tour finale. Spectators were treated to a spectacular opening ceremony and an abundance of exquisite Judo.

The women’s -63kg category produced our Woman of the Day, reigning World champion Clarisse Agbegnenou of France.

Her semi-final was a re-run of this year's World Championship final, Agbegnenou again defeating Tashiro Miku of Japan.

The final was no less impressive, defeating another Japanese fighter, world number three Nabekura Nami in a close encounter. The Frenchwoman ends the year as Judo’s undisputed queen.

"The girls I fought against are really different, I had one left-hander in the semi-final and one right-handed in the final, so its actually different, they have different styles. But they are Japanese anyway, so we know that it’s going to be a really hard fight. But actually it was good because I knew it was going to be a hard fight, two really different girls but I won both in newaza. Crazy, crazy! Again, Japanese! I would never have imagined it that way,” she said delighted with her performance.

The -73 kg category produced our Man of the Day Rustam Orujov from Azerbaijan who beat the newly-crowned world champion An Chan grim of Korea right at the end of a close semi-final encounter.

"I think that An Chan grim is one of the strongest judoka in the world, I prepared for today, for this fight. Today I felt very good, that’s why I won,” said Orujov.

In the final he faced Canadian Arthur Margelidon. A sutemi waza proved the only separating factor in what was a very competitive fight. It was a great finish to the year for both fighters.

Kosovan Distra Krasniqi stamped her authority on the -48kg category with a decisive victory in the final against Japan’s former world champion Kondo Ami. A beautiful Osoto gari ended the contest in under 15 seconds.

Mr Marius vizer IJF President presented her with the gold medal.

The World Masters -60kg category was claimed by Robert Mshvidobadze of Russia.

The gold medal was presented by Mr Tian Wenxi, President of Board of Guangzhou Wyan Culture & Media Co Limited

At 52kg Japan’s Tsunoda Natsumi threw former world number 1 Amandine Buchard quite brilliantly in an eye-catching combination .

Maruyama Joshiro was spectacular as he took -66kg gold, and world champion Yoshida Tsukasa was also on form as she made it 3 golds for Japan, once again asserting their supremacy over the judo world on Day One of this competition.