Hifumi Abe and Uta Abe celebrate during the medal ceremony at the Nippon Budokan in Tokyo on Sunday. AFP / AP
Gulf Today Report
Japanese judoka Uta Abe triumphed in the women's 52kg category in Tokyo on Sunday, hours before her brother Hifumi Abe took gold in the men's 66-kg final, making history as the first siblings to win gold medals on the same day.
The Abes' success gave Japan its third and fourth gold medal of the day after Yuto Horigome took skateboarding's first Olympic title and swimmer Yui Ohashi was the surprise winner of the women's 400m individual competition.
Uta, 21, dominated her bouts in the 52kg category, and beat France’s Amandine Buchard to win her own first Olympic gold. Uta is one of the biggest stars in Japan’s homegrown martial art, and this Olympic victory will only increase her stature in the judo sport. Uta has also won two world championships.
Uta's brother Hifumi Abe, 23, triumphed in men’s 66kg and defeated Georgia's Vazha Margvelashvili to win the gold medal. The bronze medals were won by Baul Ahn from South Korea and Daniel Kargnin from Brazil.
Hifumi Abe had thrown Brazil's Daniel Cargnin to win by ippon — judo's equivalent of a knockout — in the semi-final. Earlier, he made his way through the elimination round of 16 in the 66kg category in a tight bout with Kilian Le Blouch, throwing the French athlete to the tatami mat to score an ippon victory in sudden death overtime.
In the quarter-final, he saw off Baskhuu Yondonperenlei of Mongolia with a waza-ari. Hifumi is a two-time world champion who had to win a grueling, 24-minute bout against teammate Joshiro Maruyama last December simply for the right to represent Japan at these Olympics. He won four straight bouts Sunday, including three by ippon.
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