RIO DE JANEIRO – Japan’s women saved their best until last, defeating host Brazil on Sunday to take the team gold on the final day of the judo world championships.
Japan finished without any gold medals in the women’s seven individual weight categories, but its talented ranks teamed up to great effect as it edged out host Brazil in a thrilling final.
The match went down to the final fight as Maria Portela bested Haruka Tachimoto on shido penalties with two against the Japanese judoka and only one against the Brazilian.
But the gold medal was decided when Maria Suelen Altheman was frustrated by over 78-kg bronze medalist Megumi Tachimoto as she was penalized with a shido for passivity which separated the two judoka after five minutes.
“We really wanted to win the team final,” said Megumi Tachimoto. “I’m glad we were able to finish off with a gold medal. My sister lost points and I wanted to get them back.”