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Judo: Harasawa wins heavyweight, Japan tops Qingdao Master medal tally

Hisayoshi Harasawa shows his gold medal after being crowned men's heavyweight champion at the World Judo Masters in Qingdao. (Kyodo)

QINGDAO, China (Kyodo) -- Hisayoshi Harasawa was crowned men's heavyweight champion at the World Judo Masters in Qingdao on Saturday as Japan secured top spot in the medal table.

    Olympic silver medalist Harasawa, 28, received the gold medal after Olympic and world champion Lukas Krpalek of the Czech Republic pulled out of the final with a sore back.

    Harasawa advanced to the gold medal match with an ippon victory over Russia's Inal Tasoev in the semifinals of the over-100-kilogram division.

    "It was a shame to win the final by forfeit, but the overall result was a boost to my confidence," said Harasawa, who is in pole position to represent Japan at next year's Tokyo Olympic Games.

    "Although I didn't move so well in my first bout, I was able to stick with it and put myself in a strong position."

    Former world champion Aaron Wolf missed out on another gold for Japan after losing by ippon to Dutchman Michael Korrel in the men's 100 kg final.

    Japan finished the Masters, which serve as an Olympic team selection event, with five gold medals, two silver and five bronze.

    The Netherlands came second with three gold, one bronze and one silver ahead of France with a gold, three silver and three bronze.

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