Japan turns up the heat with stunning judo at Dusseldorf Grand SlamComments
After an explosive Day 1, the Dusseldorf Grand Slam hotted up on Day 2. More stunning masterclass performances from Japanese judokas saw them again dominate the competition and the medals table. Japan's medals tally eclipsed everyone else's as it boasted a total of seven golds, one silver and two bronzes over the first two days of the three-day competition. Great Britain and Kosovo were joint second in the medals table tally so far, with with one gold each.
Ono victorious after all-Japanese clash
In the -73kg division, Olympic Champion Shohei Ono became the focus of the German crowd and was our **Man of the Day. **
Attacking in all directions including his famous uchi-mata, a display many had travelled to see, and one that set Ono up against what must be his toughest rival: His compatriot - Masashi Ebinuma.
After a close fight, a fantastic sacrifice technique saw Ono cement his place as number one in Japan, and become champion here in Dusseldorf.
Ono was awarded his gold medal by Mr Burkhard Hintzsche, City council member and City Manager of Dusseldorf.
"Well, actually Ebinuma and I, we went to the same dojo in J__unior and Senior high school, so following his return into this international tournament is something to really ponder about. In the match I just focussed on not being engulfed in his aura and his presence. Overcoming that gave me much confidence. And also whilst I overcame him, and came out with the win, I was still able to show some respect to my senior," Shohei Ono said in an interview.
Invincible Briton Conway completes Grand Slam treble
Great Britain’s Sally Conway was our Woman of the Day, armlocking her way to victory.
The Olympic Bronze medallist showed her tactical and ne-waza talent, taking her third Grand Slam title, and her first in Dusseldorf after defeating The Hague Grand Prix bronze medallist Miriam Butkereit of Germany in the -70kg final.
She was awarded her gold medal by Mr Marius Vizer, President of the International Judo Federation.
"I knew coming out here today, in the final in Germany it was going to be loud, there was going to be a lot of pressure, like just that you put on yourself more. But today I tried to focus on just how to fight her. Like, block the high hand because I know once she gets that high grip on and with the long legs she is dangerous. So I felt I just had to set the tempo, set the pace, and just take my opportunities once they came," said an ecstatic Sally Conway in a post-contest interview.
Japanese judokas continue to dominate
Elsewhere, it was, once again, Japan all the way. The -63kg category was won by Miku Tashiro of Japan who scored with a classic ouchi gari against the Russian Daria Davydova.
She was awarded her medal by Mrs Andrea Milz, State Secretary for Sports and Non-Profit Organisations.
There was a further gold for Japan in the -81kg division as World Silver Medalist Sotaro Fujiwara defeated Aslan Lappinagov of Russia in the final.
Move of the Day
The uchi-mata’s weren’t all for Ono. Our Move of the Day was by Russian Musa Mogushkov, who absolutely launched Hamasat Isaev of Germany with a fantastic example of one of judo’s most spectacular techniques.