Japan’s world champion Misato Nakamura showed her form ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games by winning International Judo Federation (IJF) World Judo Masters gold in the women’s under 52 kilogram competition at the Lopez Mateo Sports Centre in Guadalajara.
The 27-year-old, who won bronze at the Beijing 2008 Olympics, swept aside her rivals in the invite-only competition, which sees the top 16 ranked competitors in each category compete.
Nakamura dominated throughout the duration of final against Russia’s Natalia Kuziutina, as she took the lead with a yuko before holding her opponent for 20 seconds to achieve a match-winning ippon.
Annabelle Euranie secured the first bronze medal by beating Brazil’s Erika Miranda on shido penalties, with the result likely to see her claim the sole French berth in the division at the Rio 2016 Olympics, having been rivalled by Priscilla Gneto.
The second bronze was earned by Italy’s Odette Giuffrida, as she overcame Romania’s Andreea Chitu with a waza-ari.
Japan were able to celebrate a second title on the opening day of competition as Ami Kondo earned an ippon victory over Brazil’s Sarah Menezes in the under 48kg gold medal contest.
The result will provide a boost to the Japanese star, with both of her career meetings against the Olympic champion having ended in triumph.
Spain’s Julia Figueroa defeated Turkey’s Dilara Lokmanhekim with a yuko in the first bronze medal tie and she was joined on the podium by Ukraine’s Maryna Cherniak, who overcame South Korea’s Bo Kyeong Jeong with an ippon.
In the final women’s competition of the day, the under 57kg division, Mongolia’s Sumiya Dorjsuren defended her World Judo Masters title by earning a yuko win over France’s Helene Receveaux in the final.
The big shock of the day saw Japan’s Olympic and world champion Matsumoto Kaori fall to a first round defeat to Taiwan's Chen-Ling Lien.
However Lien proved unable to finish on the podium as she was beaten on shido penalties by South Korea’s Kim Jan-Di, while Hungary’s Hedvig Karakas overcame France’s Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard in the same manner.
Azerbaijan’s Orkhan Safarov triumphed in the men’s under 60kg division by securing two yukos in the final against Vincent Limare of France, with the result seeing him move into a top eight position in the Olympic qualification standings, which will ensure him a seeding at Rio 2016.
Kim Won Jin claimed the first bronze medal as the South Korean defeated Mongolia’s Boldbaatar Ganbat by shido penalties, but Ganbat’s team-mate Amartuvshin Dashdavaa reached the podium with an ippon win over, Walide Khyar of France.
South Korea’s world champion An Baul was awarded victory in the men’s under 66kg final after his Mongolian opponent Tumurkhuleg Davaadorj was forced to withdraw through injury.
Israel’s Golan Pollack claimed bronze due to Russia’s Kamal Khan-Magomedov being disqualified, while Azerbaijan’s Nijat Shikhalizada beat Portugal’s Sergiu Oleinic on shido penalties to complete the podium.
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