Defending champion Shori Hamada settled for the silver medal in the women’s 78-kg division at the World Judo Championships on Friday, while 2017 men’s 100-kg champion Aaron Wolf came away with a bronze.
Hamada, who had won each of her first four matches by ippon, lost her final by ippon to Madeleine Malonga. The Frenchwoman, already leading by waza-ari, brought Hamada down with a large outer reap.
“If I don’t move up a step, I’m not going to win on the world stage,” Hamada said after her final at Tokyo’s Nippon Budokan, which will host next year’s Olympic judo competition.
“I want to get good results in each and every match going forward so that I’ll be able to return here.”
Wolf fell out of contention for his second world championship, when he lost in the quarterfinals to defending world champ Cho Gu-ham of South Korea. Wolf, however, won his repechage against Shady Elnahas of Canada by ippon before capturing a bronze by defeating Azerbaijan’s Elmar Gasimov.
“I was aiming at the top spot on the podium, so this is frustrating,” Wolf said. “With a year to go to the Olympics, I had a sense that the overseas judoka are in serious fighting trim.”
Portugal’s Jorge Fonseca won the gold medal by beating 2018 bronze medalist Niyaz Ilyasov of Russia in the final.