Sunday, April 2, 2017

Japan's World Championship team (women)... so far

The All-Japan Weight Class Championships also served as the trials for the Women’s team. Interestingly, two players who won their respective divisions won't be going to Budapest and Japan won't be sending any players at -63kg.

Ami Kondo won her division and was chosen for the -48kg class.

Ai Shishime actually defeated Natsumi Tsunoda but it was Tsunoda who was selected for Budapest. Shishime is actually more experienced at the international level but Tsunoda recently won gold at the 2016 Tokyo Grand Slam and silver at the 2017 Paris Grand Slam.

Udaka (left) won but she won't be going to Budapest.

Former World Champion Nae Udaka must have been pretty disappointed. Despite winning her fourth 57-kg title she won't be going to Budapest. Instead, Tsukasa Yoshida has been chosen. Age probably had something to do with it. Udaka is already 32 years old while Yoshida is only 21 and her star is rising. 

Interestingly, there will be no Japanese representative in the 63-kg class as neither the champion Megumi Tsugane nor the silver medallist Aimi Nouchi was chosen.

Chizuru Arai won the gold at -70kg and thus secured her spot there.

Japan will be sending two players, winner Mami Umeki and 2016 Tokyo Grand Slam winner Ruika Sato, for the -78kg division.

The +78kg player will be decided at the women’s national championship on April 16.

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