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Judo: Olympic champ Abe wins women's 52-kg gold at Grand Slam Tokyo

Japan's Uta Abe poses with her medal after winning the women's 52-kilogram division at the International Judo Federation's Grand Slam Tokyo at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium on Dec. 4, 2022. (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Olympic gold medalist Uta Abe continued her domination of the women's 52-kilogram division Sunday at the International Judo Federation's Grand Slam Tokyo, beating two-time world champion Ai Shishime in an all-Japanese final.

    Cheered on by older brother and fellow Tokyo Olympic champion Hifumi, the 22-year-old Abe went on the offensive early but met fierce resistance from the 28-year-old Shishime at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium.

    After entering golden score, the contest came to an anti-climactic end when Shishime incurred her third shido penalty.

    Abe, who is also the reigning world champion, said she felt "about 85 percent" while still working her way back to full strength following surgery on both shoulders last year.

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

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

    Junior world champion Kano Miyaki defeated countrywoman Rina Tatsukawa in the 48-kg final to win her first open-age competition as Japanese women swept all seven categories over the weekend, last achieved in 2017.

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

    In the men's events, Joshiro Maruyama, who was 66-kg runner-up to Hifumi at this year's world championship, took out the Grand Slam title by ippon against Shinsei Hattori.

    Hyoga Ota claimed the over-100-kg title after beating last year's world champion Kokoro Kageura in the final, while Jeon Seung Beom of South Korea overcame Hayato Kondo in the 60-kg final.

    Gennaro Pirelli of Italy defeated Kentaro Iida for the 100-kg prize after Tokyo Olympic gold medalist Aaron Wolf of Japan exited in his first bout at the tournament, receiving three penalties in the second round.

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