Japan’s judoka brought the curtain down on the world championships and brought the home crowd to its feet on Sunday by clinching their third-straight mixed-team gold medal.
Japan clinched victory over France in the final when Shori Hamada avenged her loss in the women’s 78-kg final to Madeleine Malonga by ippon. It was the second-straight year that these two nations had met in the final.
The win on the final day of the eight-day competition at Tokyo’s Nippon Budokan left Japan with five gold medals. The men’s and women’s teams each won two.
Japan swept past South Korea in the quarterfinals and Brazil in the semifinals, both by 4-0 scores. In the final, Kokoro Kageura and men’s 73-kg gold medalist Shohei Ono each won their bouts by ippon as did Chizuru Arai. Arai, knocked out in the third round of the women’s 70-kg division, beat France’s gold medalist Marie Eve Gahie.
Nippon Budokan will host next summer’s Olympic judo tournament, just as it had been the venue that introduced the sport to the Olympics in 1964.