YOKOHAMA – Teenager Akira Sone became the first judoka to win the national women’s championship in her tournament debut on Sunday.
Sone claimed an extra-period win over Wakaba Tomita at the unlimited weight-class tournament, which doubles as a qualifier for the over-78-kg division at September’s world championships in Baku.
At 17 years and nine months, Sone became the second-youngest champion, following Noriko Anno, who claimed the crown in 1993 when she was 16 years and 11 months, according to the All Japan Judo Federation. Anno went on to win gold at the 2004 Athens Olympics.
In the semifinal, Sone defeated defending champion Sara Asahina to book her berth in the final against Tomita. She won both bouts on penalties.
Earlier in the month, Sone won her second straight national invitational weight class championship in the over-78-kg category.