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Judo: Olympic champion Uta Abe wins gold in women’s 52 kg at the Tokyo Grand Slam.

Olympic gold medalist Uta Abe continued to dominate the women’s 52-kilo division on Sunday at the Tokyo International Judo Federation Grand Slam, defeating two-time world champion Ai Shishime in an all-Japanese final.

Encouraged by her older brother and Tokyo Olympic champion Hifumi, Abe, 22, went on the offensive early on but met fierce resistance from Shishime, 28, at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium.

After scoring the golden score, the competition ended in anticlimactic fashion when Shishime incurred his third shido penalty.

Japan’s Uta Abe (in white) fights against her compatriot Ai Shishime during the International Judo Federation Grand Slam women’s 52 kilograms final, at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium on December 4, 2022. Abe won the title (Essonne Info )

Abe, who is also the reigning world champion, said she felt “about 85 per cent” while still working to regain her full strength after surgery on both shoulders last year.

“I want to show everyone an even stronger version of myself by the Paris Olympics (in 2024),” she said as she clinched her spot for next May’s world championships in Doha.

Tokyo Olympic gold medalist Akira Sone beat compatriot Maya Akiba to win the women’s over 78kg category, while Rika Takayama beat Olympic champion Shori Hamada for the 78kg title.

Japan’s Uta Abe poses with her medal after winning the women’s 52-kilo division at the Tokyo International Judo Federation Grand Slam at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium on December 4, 2022. (Essonne Info)

Junior world champion Kano Miyaki beat compatriot Rina Tatsukawa in the 48kg final to win her first open-age competition as the Japanese swept all seven categories this weekend, which was last achieved in 2017 .

The tournament was staged for the first time in three years due to the coronavirus pandemic.


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