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Malonga seals France’s third gold medal in as many days

30 Aug 2019 17:15

 Mark Pickering - IJF    IJF Emanuele Di Feliciantonio / International Judo Federation

Madeleine Malonga is the new World Champion U78kg. In the Budokan in Tokyo the French woman defeated defending world champion Hamada Shori of Japan who conceded her world crown to Malonga. The French team now captured three gold medal. Malonga followed the success of her teammates Clarisse Agbegnenou (U63kg) and Marie Eve Gahie (U70kg) who won gold on Wednesday and Thursday respectively.

France joins table-topping hosts Japan on three gold medals at Tokyo 2019. Hamada, who had shown her ne-waza prowess in the earlier rounds, fell behind to a waza-ari after European Games bronze medallist Malonga switched from a o-soto-gari to a o-uchi-gari to break the deadlock. The home judoka searched for a submission but the Frenchwoman anticipated the imminent danger and escaped. An o-soto-gaeshi sealed it for the new world champion who screamed in delight. The women’s team continue to carry the mantle of French judo while Japan continued to be tormented by their fellow powerhouse judo nation having also lost the -63kg final to the European nation.

In the first semi-final Hamada dominated European Games winner Klara Apotekar (SLO) on the ground as she turned over the Slovenian and applied osaekomi before straightening the right arm of her opponent to force the submission. It was a clinical display from the Japanese who seemed to be unperturbed by the immeasurable amount of pressure on her to retain gold and her red backpatch for the hosts.

In the second semi-final two-time world champion Mayra Aguiar (BRA) was countered by Malonga for ippon. Aguiar launched forward but did not put 100% into her attack and was pushed over with te-waza for the maximum score as high-flying France guaranteed one more medal after claiming three on Thursday.

The first bronze medal went to European Games bronze medallist Loriana Kuka (KOS) who subdued Apotekar on the ground to win her first World Championships honour. Kuka, who has coached by her uncle Driton Toni Kuka, tipped over her Slovenian rival for a waza-ari before submitting the tallest judoka in the category to claim Kosovo’s third medal from their four-strong women’s team. 

The second bronze medal contest was claimed by Aguiar who sent Tbilisi Grand Prix bronze medallist Patricia Sampaio (POR) up and over for ippon with a uchi-mata after 75 seconds. The Brazilian star, who started the day as the world number one, won the all-Portuguese-speaking battle to claim her sixth Worlds medal and her country’s second at Tokyo 2019. There was no celebration from Aguiar who would have anticipated a place in the final this morning while both judoka will be expected to be in the frame next year.

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  • Madeleine Malonga (FRA) - World Championships Tokyo (2019, JPN) - © IJF Gabriela Sabau, International Judo Federation
  • Shori Hamada (JPN) - World Championships Tokyo (2019, JPN) - © IJF Gabriela Sabau, International Judo Federation
  • Larbi Benboudaoud (FRA) - World Championships Tokyo (2019, JPN) - © IJF Emanuele Di Feliciantonio, International Judo Federation

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