There were times that three women dominated the IJF World Tour and all the big prizes in the category for women U63kg. Clarisse Agbegnenou, Tina Trstenjak and Miku Takaichi, also known as Miku Tashiro. For the time being at the 54th place in the world, but she will rose fast after the victory at the Grand Slam in Tokyo this weekend where she showed her skills once more after her Kodokan Cup win a few weeks ago.
Miku Takaichi won three World Judo Masters titles, four world championship medals and twelve grand slam medals, including 5 golds, enough to notice Takaichi's talent. Many nations would dream of having such outsiders, but we think she is the number one contender for a spot at the Olympic Games in Paris.
The two finalists in Tokyo were Miku Takaishi and Seiko Watanabe, the latter defeating her teammate and current world champion in the semi-final, after having clearly dominated the whole bout, showing the depth of Japanese judo.
In this new 100% Japanese final, both athletes were penalised with a first shido after a little more than a minute of observation. Watanabe was penalised again when blocking her opponent and the third shido didn't take long to be dropped on her head for a tactical win for Miku Takaishi.
Probably disappointed for not reaching the final, the current world champion, Megumi Horikawa (JPN) secured the bronze medal against Katharina Haecker (AUS) with an immobilisation, while Nami Nabekura (JPN) scored a waza-ari in the second bronze medal contest to join her teammates on the podium.
Like her teammate Christa Deguchi at -57kg, Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard (CAN) had a serious chance of appearing in the top four of the -63kg category. By occupying the top of the draw, her chances were even more serious. Yet from the first round, the pitfall was named Miku Takaichi, what a draw.
This article was originally published on www.judoinside.com