Judo gives Japan's first gold at Tokyo 2020

Judo gives Japan's first gold at Tokyo 2020
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24 July 2021
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Three-time world champion Naohisa Takato beat Yung Wei Yang of Chinese Taipei by disqualification today and judo brought first gold to Japan at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Takato in the 60 kilograms dominated his four starts to the mattress, including decisive fights over Wei Yang and the Kazakh Yeldos Smetov (semifinals) both in golden rule, thus improving the bronze metal conquered five years ago in the edition of Rio de Janeiro.

 

Aged 28 and a quarter of the universal ladder, Takato surpassed Belgian Jorre Verstraeten and Georgian Lukhumi Chkhvimianiy in his first ippon presentations; before beating Smetov by wazari in the semifinals after 11 minutes of combat.

Multi-medalist in the great international judo tournaments, Takato conquered the scepter against Wei Yang after another seven minutes of fight and decided by shido, valid to catapult the locals to the top of judo with a gold and a silver.

In the division, Kazakh Smetov and Frenchman Luka Mkheidze reached bronze medals by defeating Dutchman Tornike Tsjakadoea and South Korean Won Jin Kim, respectively.

Minutes earlier, Distria Krasniqi beat Japan's Funa Tonaki by waza-ari in 48 kilograms and celebrated her first gold under five rings, in addition to giving Kosovo the first title at Tokyo 2020.

In bronze metals, the Ukrainian Daria Bilodid and the Mongolian Urantsetseg Munkhbat finished victorious over Israeli Shira Rishony and Portuguese Catarina Costa, in that order.

Japan with a gold and a subtitle dominated the first day of Olympic judo, escorted by Kosovo with a golden scepter; while France, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and Ukraine added a bronze metal each.

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