RIO DE JANEIRO – Megumi Tachimoto could only manage third place in the over 78-kg division as Japan’s women finished without a single gold medal at the world judo championships on Saturday.
It is the first time the country’s women have failed to strike gold at a worlds since the 1991 meet in Barcelona.
Tachimoto lost in the semifinals to London Olympic gold medalist Idalys Ortiz and took the bronze after winning her third-place playoff against Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Larisa Ceric.
“This is not the color of medal I was aiming for so I am really disappointed. I wanted to get the gold medal for both myself and the team,” said Tachimoto.
Cuba’s Ortiz went on to win the gold medal with victory over Maria Suelen Altheman of Brazil in the final.
Japan’s men have won three gold medals here but failed to make the podium in the over 100-kg for the fifth worlds in a row. Ryu Shichinohe lost to Brazil’s Rafael Silva in the quarterfinals.
Frenchman Teddy Riner won the gold for a record fifth time in succession.
In the men’s 100-kg, Takashi Ono lost in the quarterfinals to Azerbaijan’s Elkhan Mammadov and was then beaten in his bronze-medal match by Lukas Krpalek of the Czech Republic.