Japan’s domination continued on the final day of the International Judo Federation (IJF) Kata World Championships as they claimed both titles on offer at the Sporthallen Zuid in Amsterdam.
Having enjoyed a clean sweep of the golds yesterday, the Japanese team were targeting a whitewash at the annual event, which will be immediately followed by the Veteran World Championships in The Netherlands’ capital city.
The opening event of the day saw the kime no kata athletes take to the mat and the Japanese duo of Kenji Takeishi and Koji Uematsu were bidding to defend the title they claimed last year in the Spanish city of Malaga.
They were met by a strong challenge from Iran’s Abdolvahab Bardigarmaroudi and Seyedyashar Rouhollahzadeh but eventually the Japanese judokas emerged as the victors with 560 points to their rivals' 540.
It meant that the top two positions on the podium would remain the same as one year ago but the two nations were joined this time by France, after Michel and Laurent Jeuffroy ended the competition with a total of 524 points for bronze.
Meanwhile in the Goshin Jutsu class, which would close the Championships, Hideki Miyamoto and Masaki Watanabe emerged victorious as the Japanese pair ended eight points clear of Italy’s Ubaldo Volpi and Maurizio Calderini on 585 points.
South Korea’s Dongham Kim and Jaeseung Seo ended with a total of 568 points to secure bronze, but they were unable to prevent Miyamoto and Watanabe from securing their third consecutive world title in the discipline.
"I am very happy with our result today,” Watanabe said afterwards.
“Every year the level of competition is stronger and it is a very difficult competition for all countries.
"I am very proud of the results of the Japanese team.”
Following their clean sweep of gold medals in the Kata World Championships, which was watched by new IJF Executive Committee member and Montreal 1976 Olympic champion Haruki Uemura, Japan will be hoping for more success in the veterans event which gets underway tomorrow with the men’s six, seven, eight and nine divisions.
To watch the latest action on Judo TV click here.
September 2015: Japan take hat-trick of gold medals on opening day of IJF Kata World Championships