The second day of the Osaka Grand Slam was the day of the home nation, with Japan taking gold medals in all four categories.
At 70kg Japan’s Yoko Ono looked strong in the eliminations - keeping her Olympic ambitions alive.
In the final, she took on four-time Grand Slam winner Kim Polling, denying the Dutch star back-to-back Grand Slam wins on the IJF World Judo Tour.
Ono out-worked her opponent on the ground and caught Polling with shime-waza in Golden Score.
Her medal was presented by Mr. Vladimir Barta, IJF Head Sport Director.
“I just focused on doing my own judo," Ono said. "I wanted to make sure i was focused on doing my own techniques and that i would apply the pressure, not her. I wasn’t thinking about what she was doing, or her strategy, i just focused on my own game plan.”
Man of the Day
Always a hotly contested category, the -73’s did not disappoint.
Three-time World Champion and double Olympic bronze medallist Masashi Ebinuma of Japan looked strong from the outset
A highlight being this uchi-mata against Sweden’s Tommy Macias.
On the opposite side of the draw, former World Champion Soichi Hashimoto was on fire all day, including a beautiful ippon on Haiti’s Philippe Abel Metellus.
And a lightning fast foot sweep against Italian Olympic champion Fabio Basile.
In the final, Ebinuma took advantage of a weak attack from his teammate to secure a hold down for ippon in Golden Score, to claim his first Grand Slam title since moving up a weight to -73kg and become our Man of the Day.
"Well, the past 5 or 6 tournaments, all I've been winning is silver medals," Ebinuma said after taking gold. "And I just felt that I really didn’t want another silver medal, and so for that reason I was able to remain emotionally and physically strong throughout the match."
Osaka Grand Slam Crown
Masako Doi retained her Osaka Grand Slam crown at the expense of newcomer Nana Kota as the hosts won all four medals in the -63kg category.
Her medal was presented by IJF Education and Coaching Director Mohammed Meridja.
**Move of the Day **
Silver medalist Kim Polling did produce our move of the day, a monumental ura-nage on former world champion Chizu Arai.
Her Dutch team mate Frank de Wit was also thrilled to win a first Grand Slam medal in over a year with this, unusual counter attacking piece of judo, taking his Japanese opponent and the crowd by surprise.