Judo...and in Tokyo on Sunday (26 November) there were home victories in the Jigoro Kano?
Judo...and in Tokyo on Sunday (26 November) there were home victories in the Jigoro Kano Cup international championships. In the final of the open weight competition, the Japanese champion, Yasuhiro Yamashita, defeated Jean-Luc Rouge of France.
SYNOPSIS: Yasuhiro Yamashita's opponent in the quarter-finals was another Frenchman, Tripet. The stocky Yamashita came to the fore of Japanese judo in April, 1977, when, as a nineteen-year-old student, he beat the five times winner, Sumio Endo, in the Japanese national championships. Yamashita's closest bout on the way to the quarter-finals was against the Soviet, Aleksej Tyuurin. Yamashita finally scored a narrow points victory.
The large crowd filling the Nippon Budokan Hall had a much shorter wait for the end of Yamashita's bout with Tripet. Japan's judo experts are generally believed to be technically superior to those from the Western world. The Frenchman was always struggling to counter yamashita's moves. After less than two minutes Yamashita beat Tripet and moved on to another easy bout against fellow-countryman Iwata in the semi-final.
Yamashita's opponent in the final, Frenchman Jean-Luc Rouge, also had an easy victory in the semi-final. He beat Boris Beridze of the Soviet Union with one of the most spectacular throws of the whole competition.
Rouge displayed a high level of technical skill throughout the tournament. But in the final, Yamashita looked superior. He kept the Frenchman, who favours quick attacks, on the defensive throughout the match. In the final seconds of the bout, Yamashita scored the all-important advantage with a leg throw for a points victory over the Frenchman.
It was a good way day for the host country. Katsumi Suzuki of Japan took the sixty kilo (132 pound) competition with a win over fellow countryman, Yasuhiko Moriwali. After the bout, Yamashita said he had expected to win the open weight title. His thoughts now turn to the Moscow Olympics in 1980 and a possible battle royal with the Montreal Olympic champion, Soviet ace, Sergei Novikov.