Tsukasa Yoshida won the women’s under-57 kg category to capture Japan’s first gold medal on the first day of action at the invitation-only International Judo Federation World Masters in Doha on Monday.

Yoshida, the world champion in 2018, beat France’s Sarah Leonie Cysique in a tight final at Lusail Multipurpose Hall that went five minutes into overtime and ended with Yoshida immobilizing her opponent to score an ippon.

In the women’s 48-kg, Funa Tonaki, who along with Yoshida has made the Tokyo Olympic team, beat Ukraine’s two-time world champion Daria Bilodid for the first time in five tries in the semifinal, but lost to Kosovo’s Distria Krasniqi in the final and settled for silver.

In the women’s 52-kg, Ai Shishime, world champion in 2017 and World Judo Masters gold medalist in 2019, also finished with silver after Amadine Buchard of France defeated her on penalties after almost three minutes in the golden score.

No Japanese competed in either of the two men’s categories held Monday.

The Jan. 11 to 13 meet features 399 competitors from 69 countries. For Japanese judoka, it’s the first international competition since February 2020. No spectators are allowed at the event and judokas have to wear masks at all times except when competing.

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