Judo

Japanese siblings win gold medals on same day in Tokyo, in moment of Olympic history

Japanese judoka Uta Abe triumphed in the women's 52-kg category in Tokyo on Sunday, hours before her brother Hifumi took gold in the men's 66-kg final, making history as the first siblings to win gold medals on the same day.

Feat came a day after triple world champion judoka secured Japan's 1st gold medal

Uta Abe of Japan poses with the gold medal for the women’s judo 52-kg event at Nippon Budokan in Tokyo on Sunday. (Harry How/Getty Images)

Japanese judoka Uta Abe triumphed in the women's 52-kg category in Tokyo on Sunday, hours before her brother Hifumi took gold in the men's 66-kg final, making history as the first siblings to win gold medals on the same day.

The feat came a day after triple world champion judoka Naohisa Takato secured Japan's first gold medal with victory over Taiwan's Yang Yung-wei, underscoring the strength of the host nation at the sport born here 140 years ago.

In a bright start to the Games for Japan amid a resurgence of the coronavirus outbreak, its team secured two further golds on Sunday, in swimming and skateboarding.

Uta, 21, dominated her bouts in the 52-kg category, but was taken deep into Golden Score overtime in the final against Amandine Buchard of France, eventually pinning her down on her back and holding on for the win.

"This was a dream for us," Uta told reporters, when asked about achieving simultaneous golds with her brother. "It makes me believe dream comes true as long as I try to achieve it."

Uta and Hifumi hugged and congratulated each other after the post-match ceremony, she said, adding that her brother always goes ahead of her to lead the way.

"I was touched by how they encouraged each other," Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said on Twitter in congratulating the Abes.

WATCH | Japan's Abe siblings each win gold within 1 hour of each other:

Japan's Abe siblings win gold medals within 1 hour of each other

2 months ago
0:39
Judoka Uta Abe walks away with gold in the women's 52kg category, shortly before her brother, Hifumi, wins the men's 66kg category. 0:39

'The best day of my life'

In the semifinal, Uta threw Odette Giuffrida of Italy, also in overtime, to clinch a waza-ari victory.

In the round of 16 against Brazil's Larissa Pimenta, Uta went for a pin to score an ippon victory, and in the quarter-final a waza-ari was enough to beat Britain's Chelsie Giles.

The bronze medals went to Giuffrida and Giles.

In the men's final, Hifumi Abe, 23, defeated Georgia's Vazha Margvelashvili to take gold. Bronze medals went to Baul An of South Korea and Daniel Cargnin of Brazil.

"I didn't feel any pressure but rather it made me crave for it," Hifumi told reporters, when asked how Uta's gold medal affected his performance in the final. "Today is the best day of my life."

Hifumi Abe of Japan poses with the gold medal for the men’s judo 66-kg event of Tokyo 2020 at Nippon Budokan on Sunday. (Leon Neal/Getty Images)

He had thrown Brazil's Daniel Cargnin to win by ippon — judo's equivalent of a knockout — in the semifinal.

Earlier, he made his way through the elimination round of 16 in the 66-kg 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.

Defending Olympic champion Majlinda Kelmendi lost by waza-ari in overtime to Reka Pupp of Hungary in the women's 52-kg elimination round of 32. Now 30, Kelmendi became Kosovo's first Olympic gold medallist in Rio in 2016.

WATCH | CBC Sports Explains: Judo:

Sport Explainer: Judo

2 months ago
2:23
Need a refresher on judo? Get to know the sport before the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. 2:23

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