Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Japanese Line Up for the 2017 Paris Grand Slam

The Japanese team for the 2017 Paris Grand Slam is a mixed bag of a few from the A Team and many from the B Team.

On the women's team, not that many exciting players to watch out for. The two most obvious ones are Ami Kondo and Tsukasa Yoshida.

-48kg : Ami Kondo
-52kg : Natsumi Tsunoda
-57kg : Tsukasa Yoshida
-63kg : Aimi Nouchi and Mino Minei
-70kg : Saki Niizoe and Chizuru Arai
-78kg : Ruika Sato
+78kg : Sarah Asahina and Kanae Yamabe

More excitement on the men's side with Naohisa Takato (-60kg) seeking to prove himself after failing to get gold in Rio 2016. Everybody's eyes will be on Hifumi Abe, the young upstart who is widely expected to displace Masashi Ebinuma as Japan's top -66kg player. Soichi Hashimoto (-73kg) is a big, big thrower -- excellent seoi-nages to the left and to the right, standing and drop. But of domestically, in Japan, he's got Ono to contend with. Mashu Baker (-90kg), the reigning Olympic champion is the biggest star in the Japanese team. He'll be looking to stamp his authority in his weight class. Ryu Shichinohe will be given a chance to prove himself at the +100kg. He has to because Hisayoshi Harasawa gave a really good showing in Rio 2016 against Teddy Riner.

-60kg : Ryuju Nagayama and Naohisa Takato
-66kg : Hifumi Abe and Yuki Hashiguchi
-73kg : Soichi Hashimoto
-81kg : Hayato Watanabe
-90kg : Mashu Baker and Kenta Nagasawa
-100kg : Kentaro Iida
+100kg : Takeshi Ojitani and Ryu Shichinohe


  1. According to Watanabe (-81) and Baker (-90) don't participate after all :-(