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Judo’s Kim Min-jong wins Tokyo Grand Slam silver, beats son of Japanese legend

Judo’s top heavyweight, Kim Min-jong (23, Yangpyeong County), defeated the son of a Japanese judo hero to win a silver medal at the 2023 International Judo Federation (IJF) Tokyo Grand Slam.

Kim defeated Japan’s heaviest man, Tatsuru Saito (21), in a bout of half takedowns and half presses in the semifinals of the men’s 100-plus kilogram category at the tournament in Tokyo, Japan, on Wednesday.

Kim, who entered the tournament with a shaved head, dominated his opponents with ease.

After dropping the first round by forfeit, he won the second through fourth rounds.

In the semifinals, Kim continued his momentum by defeating Saito in one game, despite the one-sided support of the Japanese crowd.

However, he couldn’t get over the hump.

In the final, Kim dropped to his knees after a reversal of a handstand by Tokyo 2020 bronze medalist Tamelan Vasayev, a Russian individual neutral.

Saito is the son of Japanese judo hero Hitoshi Saito, who won back-to-back gold medals at the 1984 Los Angeles and 1988 Seoul Olympics.

He won a silver medal at last year’s world championships and is ranked fifth in the world this season. Kim Min-jong is ranked 14th.

On the same day, Yoon Hyun-ji (Ansan City Hall) won the bronze medal in the women’s 78kg category.

Yoon lost her third-round match to Japan’s Rika Takayama by half a takedown and half a press, but defeated Japan’s Shori Hamada in the consolation bracket with a thigh-hold to advance to the bronze medal match.

He won a bout against Japan’s Mami Umeki, the 2015 world champion, by scoring two halves of a rear-naked choke to reach the podium. 슬롯게이밍

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